The focus for this year’s Food Revolution Day was about sharing the power of cooking, the benefits of cooking from scratch and, ultimately showing people that changing our food choices can make us both healthier and happier. Instead of one official recipe as there has been in years past, this year, we had a set of 10 recipes chosen by Jamie Oliver that he deems the “Starter Pack of Cooking”. Each recipe covers a different skill and technique that can give anyone the confidence to cook good, real, healthy meals for themselves and their families, for now and the future. Jamie has spoken about the idea of ten recipes to save your life since his TED talk in 2010. This year, I’ve been sharing my own twist on Jamie’s recipes, showcased along with nine other Ambassador’s ideas over on JamieOliver.Com. You can see previous posts here.
For this month’s Food Revolution Recipe Twist, where we were tasked with tweaking Jamie’s Veggie Lamb and Chickpea Curry. I love a good curry – especially at the moment, I’m craving food that is very different from the recipes I’m working on for my cookbook – it’s nice to offset the French food with a little spice every now and then! I’m also trying hard to make sure I eat my veggies so when I saw this recipe I knew I wanted to make a vegetarian version. This particular iteration came about based on what I had on hand one weekend – fresh mushrooms and spinach and chickpeas (which I always have in my pantry) and it made for a fine combination. I added some tinned tomatoes and a “go to” curry paste (nice to make one fresh from time to time, though you can use a jarred version if time is tight) for a quick, tasty weeknight meal that tastes even better the next day for lunch. My kinda double value meal!
Chickpea, mushroom and spinach curry
A quick weeknight curry with tons of flavour!
For the curry paste
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoons chili flakes (for a more intense heat, you can add more of the chili flakes or else use chili powder or cayenne)
- 2 teaspoons garam masala powder
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
For the curry
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1/3 cup curry paste
- 200g fresh white button mushrooms - make sure they are evenly chopped
- 1 x 796ml can (approx 21/2 cups) diced tomatoes
- 1 x 540ml can chickpeas (drained)
- 250mls (1 cup) water or coconut milk
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
- 2-3 generous handfuls baby spinach
- salt and pepper, to taste
- chopped cashews and extra fresh chopped cilantro to garnish
- For the curry paste:
- Heat a small frying pan over medium-high heat and add the cumin and coriander seeds.
- Toast the seeds for a few minutes until the smell becomes more intense, making sure to watch they don’t burn.
- Grind the toasted spices to a fine powder using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.
- In the bowl of a mini food processor, add the toasted spice powder to the remaining ingredients for the paste and process until smooth.
- You may need to stop and push the mixture down with a rubber spatula a few times to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated and well combined.
- For the curry:
- In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat and gently sauté the onion until soft and translucent.
- Add the curry paste and sauté until the onions are completely coated with the paste.
- Add mushrooms and tomatoes.
- Reduce heat to medium and cover.
- Cook for about 10 minutes or until the mushrooms are starting to soften.
- Add the chickpeas, water or coconut milk, cilantro and spinach and continue to simmer over low heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve on white rice, garnishing with the chopped cilantro and cashews.
What about you – what’s your favourite curry?