Curry, with its aromatic spices and rich, flavorful sauces, has a storied history that dates back centuries. Originating in the Indian subcontinent, it has traveled the world, adapted to local tastes, and become a beloved dish for millions. Today, we’re diving into the world of curry with a recipe for Chickpea and Spinach Curry, a vegetarian delight that’s both nutritious and bursting with flavor.
Curry, a term believed to be derived from the Tamil word “kari,” which means sauce, has a diverse range of dishes across India, from the fiery vindaloo of Goa to the creamy kormas of the Mughal era. Chickpea curry, or “chana masala,” has a special place in Indian cuisine, often enjoyed as a hearty and protein-packed vegetarian dish.
- Prep Your Ingredients: Start by preparing all your ingredients. Chop the onion, garlic, tomatoes, and spinach. Grate the ginger and measure out the spices and coconut milk. Rinse and drain the cooked chickpeas if using canned ones.
- Sauté the Aromatics: Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté them until they turn translucent, which should take about 5 minutes.
- Add the Spices: Stir in the minced garlic, grated ginger, and all the spices (curry powder, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and paprika). Cook for another 2 minutes, allowing the spices to release their fragrant oils.
- Tomatoes and Chickpeas: Add the chopped tomatoes to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes, or until they start to break down and become soft. Now, incorporate the cooked chickpeas and stir well to coat them with the flavorful mixture.
- Creamy Coconut Milk: Pour in the can of coconut milk, and gently stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer and let it cook for about 10 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together while the sauce thickens slightly.
- Add Spinach: When the curry has simmered for a while and the chickpeas are tender, add the chopped spinach. Stir it into the curry until it wilts and becomes vibrant green, which should take about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve and Garnish: Your Chickpea and Spinach Curry is now ready to serve. Ladle it over cooked rice or alongside warm naan bread. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves for a burst of freshness and color.