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Thursday, 25 October 2012

Chickpea & Tomato Curry

Allow me introduce you to your next mid-week dinner! Quick, healthy and full of flavour, this curry sports a good balance between the heat of the red chilli and the sweetness of the coconut milk,  which together with the tomatoes form a thick sauce that envelopes the buttery chickpeas. I used fresh tomatoes as opposed to tinned ones because they are sweeter; however, you do need to ensure you use some deep-red, sun ripened ones. The pale, watery excuses for a tomato often sold cheaply in supermarket just won't do for this dish...or for anything else, for that matter ;-)

INGREDIENTS (for two people):

  • One can of cooked chickpeas
  • One medium white onion
  • Two red chillies (I like my curries hot but you can just one, if you prefer a milder version)
  • 200 gr of fresh tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of curry powder
  • 1 thumb-size piece of grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 
  • 2 teaspoons of tomato purée
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh coriander
  • Half a can of coconut milk
  • Groundnut oil
  • Black pepper and salt
Thinly slice the onion and fry it gently in a tablespoon or so of groundnut oil with the ginger, garlic and chopped red chillies, in a heavy-based pan. When they are soft and translucent, add the tomatoes cut in chunks, and turn the heat right up. Stirring continuously to prevent the vegetables from catching to the bottom of the pan, let the tomatoes soften to a pulp and lose most of their moisture (it will take about 3-4 minutes). Turn the heat to a lower setting, then add in the curry powder and tomato purée and mix them all in well with the rest of the ingredients.  Next,  tip in the chickpeas and the coconut milk, bring the curry to a gentle simmer and let it bubble away for approximately 20 minutes, until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the coriander just before bringing it to the table. I served my curry with some fluffy lemon rice, but it goes well with some freshly made chapati or naan bread, too. You can also use this curry as a side dish, to accompany a meat or fish based main course. 

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