Introduction: Chickpea and Mixed Vegetable Curry

This is a really simple vegetarian dish.

It takes a bit more time to cook than I usually spend as the sauce is pretty thick and has to be stirred a lot while it is being heated. There are a couple of gaps while gentle simmering is ongoing and other tasks can be completed.

Almost any vegetable can be used in this, so experiment (and let me know how you get on).

Step 1: Ingredients and Substitutes

2 onions
6 cloves of garlic
Two thumb-sized chunk of ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon paprika
3 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons chilli powder
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
2 tablespoons of oil (peanut or rice bran)
350g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight OR 2 cans of chickpeas (15oz, 400g)
One can of chopped tomatoes (15oz, 400g)
One can of coconut cream (15oz, 400g)
One can of tomato paste (10oz, 310g)
1 kg (2 lbs) frozen mixed vegetables

You can use either dried or tinned chickpeas for this. If you use dried then they must be soaked overnight in plenty of water.

If you have fresh chillies, then go for it. Just drop them into the blender along with the alium and ginger.

You can use any vegetables. I just grabbed the big bag of frozen mixed veges because they were on special this week. Fresh Cauliflower, carrots and frozen peas works well too, but the carrots will need longer in the sauce to cook.

Step 2: Blend the Onion

Peel the onion, garlic and ginger.

If you have fresh chillies but want to de-seed them then do that now too.

Chop everything so that it can drop down to the bottom of the blender, and run until there is a smooth puree (see last photograph).

Step 3: Frying Spices for the Sauce Base

Heat some oil in a big saucepan and fry the chilli flakes for a minute until the colour (color) bleeds into the oil and the aroma starts to come out.

Add in the other spices and fry them off for a minute or so.

Reduce the heat, then add in the pureed onion, garlic and ginger and fry gently for about ten minutes until there is a brown paste as shown in the last photograph.

Step 4: Cooking the Chickpeas

Add the well-drained chickpeas, the coconut cream, the tomato paste and the chopped tomatoes to the pot and stir to mix.

Keep stirring constantly to prevent the mixture sticking and burning and bring to a very gentle simmer. The chickpeas could disintegrate if the boil is too vigorous.

Cover the pot and leave on a low heat until the chickpeas are cooked to the desired texture. I like a bit of crunch, so I simmered these for about an hour. If you have used tinned chickpeas then for the same consistency they might only need half that.

At the end of the simmer, the sauce should look like the last photograph above.

Step 5: Adding the Vegetables

Stir in the vegetables. If you are using frozen, then the pot will become stone cold immediately.

When bringing it back to the simmer, keep stirring constantly to prevent the mixture sticking and burning.

Once the mixture is back to a gentle simmer, put the lid on the pot and turn the heat right down. I simmered this lot for fifteen minutes.

Increase this time if you are using fresh carrots and depending on how much texture you like in your vegetables.

Serve on long-grain rice.