{Hot to trot}

We do love a bit of spice in our lives. We are no strangers to a good curry in our house. In fact, we have pretty much ditched the Mediterranean for the Indian sub continent.

During the cooler months we used to make Sri Lankan lamb curry weekly, along with Indian chicken curry and dhal. Not a week would go by without me taking out the entire spice arsenal and staining everything yellow like a true indian chef. Turmeric is amazing, don’t you think.

And it’s not just the awesome colour. I mean, we dyed just about every fibre with it, including wool, spoons, table cloths, t-shirts, bench tops and fingers. Its one of the most potent anti inflammatory around. I bet you didn’t know that. It also wards off dementia (not much Alzheimer’s in India it seems) and it’s said to be awesome for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.   And if you have the flu. Because it has such a mild taste, you can put it in your smoothies and teas for that amazing curative effect. Go on try it!

But if you just want to bring back memories of that amazing backpacking trip through India, then give this spicy curry a try. Since we have dropped the red meat from our menu, I am loving making different vegetarian curries. The key for me is not to over  cook the veg. There is nothing worse than mushy zucchinis and pumpkin!

This one hits the spot for our kids and its a fantastic way to get them to eat chickpeas. Serve it with brown rice and you have a protein rich dinner and some great stories to tell the kids. Or not. You can also substitute the rice for cauliflower rice. Seriously, I am an cauli rice convert.

We are planning a trip to South-East Asia with the family. I am so glad the kids love a bit of spice and all the world of curries has to offer. It will definitely make the culinary side of the trip much easier.  And for me, the entire trip is about the culinary side, really…I will be eating my way through Vietnam and Cambodia….no worries there….

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Spicy Chickpea and Potato Curry

  • 1 cup of dried chickpeas, cooked (or 1 can)
  •  4 large potatoes, peeled and chopped in bite sized chunks
  • 1 tbs coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 tbs black mustard seeds
  • 1 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 7 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp cayenne (adjust to taste)
  • 4 tsp garam masala
  • 1 can of tomatoes
  • 1/2 can of coconut cream
  • frozen peas, a couple of handfuls of spinach, fresh coriander

In a cast iron pot toast the mustard seeds until they pop, add the coconut oil, onion, garlic. Gently fry the onions until soft and golden. Add spices and curry leaves. Toast for 1 minute.

Add the peeled and chopped potatoes to the pot with enough water to barely cover the potatoes. Add the tomatoes and simmer until the potatoes are just cooked.

Add the cooked chickpeas and let them heat thoroughly before adding the coconut cream, peas and spinach. Cook only for a few minutes as to retain the vibrant green colour.

Serve with brown rice, basmati or cauliflower rice. Some naan would be very welcome too if you do that.

Namaste.

Alex

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