Chickpea, Spinach & Coconut Curry

Chickpea, Spinach & Coconut Curry

We observe what has become known all over the internet as “Meatless Mondays”… Basically we try and eat a vegetarian main meal at least once a week, and generally it’s planned for Mondays. Though sometimes we skip it and makeup for it on another day. Then we just call it a vegetarian meal, which just doesn’t sound as catchy.

I find that because of Meatless Mondays we end up eating a lot of lentils, beans and pulses. One of my favorite in that category is the chickpea. Besides being the main ingredient in falafels and hummus, they are the star of this curry, and I love this curry! It’s definitely a sort of comfort food for me. If you want a gentle intro to Indian type curry, this is a good one to start with. Served with flatbreads and THIS side salad, it’s an easy to make, very tasty, homemade vegetarian meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 T olive oil + 1 T butter
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 T fresh garlic, chopped
  • 1 T fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 fresh jalapeno, chopped (deseeded is my preference)
  • 1 t red chilli powder (I use California Chili Powder)
  • 1 T curry powder (I use mild)
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 2 TBSP shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 1 x 14 oz. can of coconut milk (I use light/reduced fat)
  • 3 cups cooked, room temperature chickpeas (or 2 x 15 oz cans, rinsed and well drained)
  • 4 ounces of spinach leaves
  • 1 T garam masala
  • 2 TBSP lime juice
  • big handful of fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped (about half a cup, loosely packed)

Instructions

  1. Heat oil & butter, large pot over medium-high heat until the butter is melted.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and chili. Cook & stir until soft and starting to brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the chili powder, curry powder and cashews. Cook stirring constantly for about 30 seconds.
  4. Stir in the coconut milk and shredded coconut, remove from heat.
  5. Scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pan.
  6. Carefully blend with an immersion blender until smooth (about a minute or two).
  7. Return to the heat, add the chickpeas, spinach, and garam masala.
  8. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas are heated through and spinach is wilted, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  9. Remove from the heat, add the cilantro and lime juice.
  10. Taste, then season with salt and pepper before serving.

Serves 4 as a Main Dish with Rice – OR – 6 to 8 as a Side Dish

Notes

  • If you try substituting another kind of milk or even cream for the coconut milk, you will completely change the taste of this curry… and not for the better!
  • If you want spicy, have spicy! Just double or triple the jalapeno and leave the seeds and membranes in. You could also use a hot chili powder and/or curry powder.