Tuesday, March 16, 2010

sweet potato, spinach and chickpea curry for four

My friend Caroline gave me this recipe recently. It makes a really nice vegetarian curry and its great with basmati rice, or simply a good crunchy green salad and some naan bread.

You will need:
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
5 cardamon pods
2 tsp coriander seeds
5 cloves
1 tblsp sunflower oil
1 small red onion, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 small chillis, seeds included, finely sliced
1 cinnamon stick, snapped in two
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tins chopped tomatoes
400g chickpeas (pre-cooked are fine)
250g natural yoghurt

300g spinach

Firstly in a small saucepan, roast all the spices until they begin to pop and you the smell the heady aroma. Let them cool slightly and then with a pestle and mortar crush them into a rough grainy mound(see photo above).
Put the oil in the bottom of a heavy cast-iron casserole dish or heavy bottomed saucepan (one with a lid) and place over a medium heat. Add the sliced onion, chopped chilli and garlic and the cinnamon stick pieces and sauté the onions for about three minutes. Add the ground spices and cook for a further two minutes. Add the diced pieces of sweet potato and sweat for a few minutes. Add the two tins of chopped tomatoes. Place the lid on and let it simmer slowly for about 15-20mins until the sweet potato is cooked through. Then stir in the yoghurt and let it warm through. Finally add the spinach leaves and stir through the hot curry until they have wilted.

Looks a bit messy but tastes great - serve with basmati rice with a side of natural yoghurt.

Tip of the day : The sweet potato in this recipe can be substituted with butternut squash also.

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