Chickpea and Coconut Curry

Check your pulses

Add or subtract chillies to adjust heat content of this curry. I like it hot, but appreciate that not everybody does. On the other hand, a little fire could be just what's needed to blast away the rawness of a bleak day…

  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 1 tin chickpeas (or soaked, cooked chickpeas)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 50g mushrooms, roughly sliced (or whole, if button type)
  • 1 red pepper, sliced and de-seeded
  • 200g cauliflower
  • 200g cooked waxy potato in chunks
  • a small stick of lemon grass, crushed/bruised to release the flavour, added whole and then removed before serving (or the juice and zest of half a lime)
  • 1 tsp ginger, thinly sliced or grated
  • 1-3 small, but fiery chillies, finely diced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely minced
  • pinch of salt (optional)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • a little cornflour if sauce refuses to thicken
  • small handful coriander and more to garnish
  1. This dish can be cooked on the hob in a wok or heavy-based pan, or in the oven on a medium setting if you don't want to hover over it.
  2. Gently sauté the onion for 3 or 4 mins until it begins to soften, then add the sliced pepper, mushrooms and garlic and cook for a further few minutes.
  3. Meanwhile steam the cauliflower separately for 5 mins or so, but remove from the heat while it's still firm.
  4. Break into small florets and add to the pan with the other vegetables.
  5. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add them, together with the coconut milk, potato, ginger, bashed-about lemon grass, chilli pepper, teaspoon of sugar and half the coriander (chop any stalks up before adding). Now, either simmer gently on the hob, or place in the oven for approx. 30 mins.
  6. If the sauce is too thin, thicken with a little cornflour (mixed with a little water/milk first to make a paste then stir into the sauce).
  7. Season with a little salt, if necessary, and serve garnished with the rest of the coriander. Serve with basmati or Thai rice.

    NB: If you can't live without meat, add some chicken, or heaven forbid, if you have leftover turkey to use up, you can add that, but even my meateaters manage this quite happily without any extra protein

Words, pictures and recipes Jo Arnell