Winter can be a tough time to cook… It’s particularly tough if you are someone who likes to cook with a lot of fresh and local produce. I rely pretty heavily on our CSA and the local farmer’s market from April to December… But, once January rolls around, I’m on my own.
I like comfort food as much as the next person, but we can’t live on macaroni and cheese for three months. This winter, I’ve found myself cooking a lot of beans. They are inexpensive and readily available. I can add some rice just a few extra vegetables for a complete meal. And, there’s just something about dinner simmering away on the stove on a chilly day.
This chickpea curry has become one of my go to weeknight meals this winter. It’s quite simple, and it smells absolutely divine. You can mix up the vegetables a bit, or even add a few more of your favorites, if you like. I’ve added some diced sweet potato and red bell pepper, and they are both great additions. I generally use the odds and ends of whatever I have on hand.
Nervous about curry? I used to be terrified of anything with curry in the name. While I’m still not an authority on authentic Indian food, I have branched out and embraced a few curry dishes. For me, the key was finding a curry powder that I like. My issue with curry was that I had only ever had a cheap curry blend from the spice aisle in the grocery store. I didn’t like it much, so I assumed that I didn’t like curry at all. Turns out, I love it… When I use the right curry powder (or blend my own). Right now, I’m loving this Maharajah Curry blend from Spices Inc. I try to keep it on the milder side since I’m feeding a toddler, but if you want to add a bit more heat, I recommend mixing in some cayenne pepper.
Makes 8 – 10 servings
- 1 pound dry chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 large onion, diced (approximately 1 cup)
- 4 carrots, diced (approximately 1 cup)
- 2 stalks celery, diced (approximately ½ cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 tablespoons curry powder
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 14 ounce can coconut milk
- Kosher salt
- 3 cups fresh spinach, chopped
- Cooked basmati rice (optional)
Rinse the dry chickpeas and transfer to a large pot. Cover with 8 cups of water and let soak overnight. Drain and rinse.
Heat the coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables have just started to soften slightly. Add the curry powder and continue to cook for an additional minute or two.
Add the chickpeas to the pot and stir to combine with the vegetables. Add the vegetable stock and the coconut milk. Season with a generous pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer, partially covered for about an hour, until the chickpeas are tender.
Wilt the spinach into the curry and allow to simmer uncovered until the sauce reduces and thickens up a bit, an additional 15 – 20 minutes. Adjust the seasonings to your taste. Serve over basmati rice, if desired.