Creamy chickpea and spinach curry

Autumn is slowly creeping up on us- leafs are starting to change colour and there is a bite in the air.  It is the perfect time to harvest the last of my spinach, pinch back the coriander and dig out the curry recipes.  This is a fragrant, wholesome vegetarian curry with chickpeas as the star of the dish.  Of course it is also a highly adaptable recipe and can be made more or less spicy to taste. You can also skip the yoghurt and still have a very delicious result.

I use double greek yoghurt instead of coconut milk-it contributes towards the same creamy taste but cost much less and is more versatile.  I still add desiccated coconut for that authentic indian curry taste.

This recipe gives four to six large portions. I served it with rice but it will go just as well with rootis or cous cous.

1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked for at least 6-8 hours

1 brown onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, finely grated

1-2 birds eye chillies, finely chopped (optional)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon turmeric

3-5 pods cardamom, skins removed

1 teaspoon ground allspice

2 tablespoon fresh, chopped coriander

2 tablespoons fresh, chopped parsley

1/4 desiccated coconut

1/2 cup double greek yoghurt (bulgarian or unsweetened plain yoghurt should also work)

small bunch spinach, finely chopped

1 can whole, peeled tomatoes


Heat the olive oil and butter in a large casserole or pot.  Add the onion, garlic and chilli and sauté for 5-8 minutes. Add the cardamom, cumin, turmeric and allspice and sauté for another minute or 2. Add the chickpeas, tomato, yoghurt and coconut.  Stir well and allow to simmer over low heat for approximately for 45-60 minutes or until the chickpeas are cooked.  Add the cilantro (coriander) and parsley as well as salt and pepper to taste and stir well. Simmer for another 15 minutes.  It can be served as is, or with rice or cous cous.


Delicious and spicy lentil and sweet potato curry

I haven’t been spending a lot of time in the kitchen recently because of a 1000 other things that kept me busy and distracted.  Luckily, life is back to normal now, and I can happily return to blogging, especially with the weather that has gone from fabulous summer to typical rainy Cape Town weather.  Please note, I am not complaining because I have been craving a decent curry for quite a while now!

So, this is what we had for meat-free Monday last night- a creamy, economical curry with just enough bite to heat up and loads of flavour. It really is the spices that makes the dish, and is so easy to make! This recipe is also of course, very low in carbohydrates, has a low G. I., and is more than filling enough to be served without rice or cous cous.  This recipe is enough for 4 large portions.

1 tabelspoon olive oil

1 large brown onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely crushed or chopped

3-4 chillies, finely chopped and depending on taste

1 tablespoon cumin, grounded

1 tablespoon coriander, grounded

2 tablespoons good quality garam masala

1 tablespoon turmeric

3-5 pods cardamom, finely grounded and skins remove

1/2 teaspoon allspice, grounded

1 tin tomato paste (70 grams)

3-4 cups water, divided

1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and diced

2 tablespoons fresh, chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon fresh, chopped parsley

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over moderate heat. Sauté the onions, garlic and chilli for 5-8 minutes, before adding all the dried spices. Sauté for another minute or 2, then add the lentils.  Add the tomato paste, mix well, then add the 3 cups of water. Turn down the heat, and bring to boil. Once everything boils, add the sweet potato, and allow to simmer for an hour.  If it cooks dry in the meantime, add another bit of water. After simmering for an hour, add freshly chopped cilantro and parsley, and allow to simmer for another 15-30 minutes until most of the fluid has thickened into a thick sauce. Serve as is, or with rice, cous cous or indian naan bread.