When she got there, the fridge was bare.... the only fresh vegetables left are a few potatoes and a pitiful looking chilli giving me evils. I can't face shopping, so I'll have to rustle something up.
Chickpea Curry it is!
Prep to plate 20 mins max
(or make in advance and reheat - I always think it tastes better)
This may be super quick to rustle up, but it's certainly not lacking in flavour. I have several of my own curry variations up my sleeve; none of which are an exact match for a well known Indian or Asian variety. How to describe this one? Think creamy pasanda with a bit of extra oomph, though of course you can tone down the heat easily if you wish.
I can't be exact on veggie quantities as I've always cooked using my tried and tested bung it in method. No matter how small the meal I picture making in my head is, by the time I've finished I can usually feed 4-6. It never goes to waste, leftovers are portioned up for the fridge or freezer. Today I've made 4 good sized portions.
Now to grab stuff from the pantry and freezer....
1 can chick peas
1 can tomatoes in sauce
Half can coconut milk (spoon out half the cream and liquid)
Handful flaked toasted almonds
Generous shake of ground almonds
Handful of dried apricots - do try to add these, they are simply delicious in the curry
Splash of stir fry oil or olive oil
Half a tube or a small can tomato puree
Agave syrup - dark or light (maple syrup or a dollop of apricot jam work equally well)
Heaped teaspoon brown sugar
Assortment of frozen veg. I'm using;
Red onions, mushrooms, peppers, green beans, broad beans and sweetcorn.
My curry paste is a teaspoon of this and that. I experimented and got it right when I was living in Turkey for several years - where spices were cheap and plentiful and there were no ready made option available. If only saffron was not such a luxury in the UK - its so fabulous in a curry and colours and flavours rice beautifully!
Nowadays I use a basic supermarket blend and perk it up with a bit of my own flair; don't worry if you don't have all of these. Try adding a bit of this and that and make it your own (and if you can remember for a repeat performance, very well done indeed).
Pop the tomato puree in small bowl and then build up the flavour with the spices. Today I've used;
1 heaped teaspoon medium curry powder **
2 heaped teaspoons tikka curry powder **
1 heaped teaspoon turmeric
A pinch of the nutmeg, chilli flakes, cardamom*** pods and all spice.
A good dash of agave syrup, I've used dark today
Large pinch sea salt
(I'd normally add cumin too, but I've run out).
Stir to combine
If you like a milder curry, simply use mild curry powder mixes and omit the chilli flakes.
**for someone that thinks herself pretty darn good at spelling, I've realised today that I've spent my life calling cardamom, cardamon! Thank you spell check. I was so convinced I was right, I had to go and look at the tub.
aka throw it all in and stir for a few minutes
I've heated a little stir fry oil to medium/hot on sauté setting in my Ninja Foodi and thrown in the onions and brown sugar to soften and begin to caramelise. After 3-4 mins, add the mushrooms and leave for another 2-3 mins, I don't bother stirring yet.
Then throw in everything else** and stir well to combine.
**Save the toasted flaked almonds to sprinkle on top when serving.
Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, breathing in that delicious curry aroma.
I'm serving tonight with a gluten free, vegan poppadum and a little mango chutney and lime pickle. The rice is Tilda lemon basmati, nuked in 2 minutes. I gave up boiling rice ages ago; life's too short and it means using another pan.
I will admit I only bothered with the little dishes to aid the photography. With only my phone to hand, I need all the help I can get in my quest for an artier food photo.
Note below the reality once it's escaped from the microwave.
This was just lovely. Perfect heat for me, but definitely too hot for my husband who can only cope with a Korma. A wonderfully balanced creamy sauce with almonds and a sweet hint of fruitiness; the apricots really are my secret curry ingredient. I'm so glad there's leftovers, I'm perfectly happy having the same again tomorrow evening. Yummy!