Colourful Curry For Chilly Nights

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It’s been a busy old month, but now I am back at home, contemplating putting the heating on and craving comfort food.

This always happens when the clocks go back- my mind turns to mash, risottos and stew (not all at once of course. Although…). So last night I tried to ease us into the comfort food season with a relatively healthy vegetable curry.

This is a really ad-hoc curry using whatever is around. This list below is what I used last night but it really is never the same- I just keep going until I can’t get more in the pan! In fact, I am not sure if it should be called a curry or a stew. Either way, it has a mix of spices which warm you rather than makes steam come out of your ears, but you can always adjust if you want more of a kick. And it really is only a small amount of crème fraiche but leave it out if you wish to be totally virtuous!

Veg & Chickpea Curry

Serves 4 – or probably even 6 of you are going for rice and nan bread as well

Spice mix 1

Cumin seeds x 2 tsp

Fennel seeds x 1 tsp

Seeds 5-6 green cardamom pods

 

Spice mix 2

2 tsp cumin powder

2 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp chilli powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

 

The rest

Vegetable oil x 2 tbsp

3 x red onions

1 x yellow pepper

1 x orange pepper

1 x aubergine

3 x big handfulls mushrooms

1 x small punnet cherry or plum tomatoes

½ bag spinach

Handful fresh coriander

Tinned chopped tomatoes x2

Tinned chickpeas x 1

Lemon juice

Crème fraiche

 

  • Cut your veg into good size chunks so they don’t turn to mush when cooked
  • Gently heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan or sauté pan
  • Add the first spice mix over a medium heat and cook until you start to smell the seeds
  • Add your onions, coat them in the seeds and allow to cook for about 5 mins
  • Add the second lot of spices. You might need to add a splash of water at this point to just loosen to the mix if the powered spices look as if they are sticking to the pan. Continue to cook for a couple of minutes
  • Add all of the veg except the spinach and the chickpeas and tinned tomatoes. I do this in stages, making sure it all gets a coating of the spices and then add the toms last
  • Bring up to the boil and then leave to simmer for 20-30 or until the tomatoes have cooked down into a lovely sauce and the chickpeas are heated through
  • Add the spinach towards the end- I plonk it all on top and it wilts down into the pan in about 90 seconds
  • Taste, and add a squeeze of lemon juice, and a tablespoon of crème fraiche (or yoghurt, or leave out) and stir through
  • Scatter with coriander and serve

 

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