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Chickpea, lentil and spinach curry

This is a simple, spicy and tasty curry. It is healthy, filling and budget-friendly. You can serve it as a side or main with soft, fried flat bread called bhatura, naan, rice or even cauliflower rice. I have used dried chickpeas which have been soaked overnight and then cooked in the Instant Pot as I find it has the best flavour but you can also use canned chickpeas. I made this recipe using the Instant Pot, for ease I have also included the hob method.

Ingredients

Serves 6

2 inches fresh root ginger
3 fat garlic cloves
2 large vine ripen tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
3 tbsp vegetable oil
4 cloves
4 green cardamom pods
1 bay leaf
2 sticks of cinnamon bark
1 tsp cumin seeds
2– green chillies, pierced
2 onions
3/4 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin powder
1 tsp ground chilli powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
200g dried chickpeas
600 ml water
100g red lentils
200g spinach
Sprinkle of chopped fresh coriander

 

Hob Method

 

  1. Soak the chickpeas in a bowl of cold water for at least 8 hours. Ensure there is enough water to cover completely.
  2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and place into a large pot.  Cover with several inches of water.
  3. Bring the chickpeas to a boil and then let it simmer for 1 hour. Stir frequently so that the chickpeas do not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Wash the lentils and set aside.
  5. Blend together the ginger, garlic and onions and set aside.
  6. Blend the tomatoes and set aside.
  7. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the cumin seeds. They will become fragrant and start to crackle.
  8. Add the cloves, cardamom pods, bay leaf and cinnamon barks.
  9. Add the green chillies and cook for 10 minutes, gentle stirring the mixture so it doesn’t stick to the pan.
  10. Add the turmeric, ground coriander, chilli powder and stir well and let it cook for 5 minutes.
  11. Add the tomato paste and stir.
  12. Add the pureed tomatoes to the pan and cook over a moderate to high heat until the oil is released from the gravy. This will take around 15 minutes.
  13. Add the chickpeas, lentils and 600 millilitres of water.
  14. Bring to a boil then simmer over a medium heat for 20 minutes.
  15. Mash a few of the chickpeas on the side of the pan to thicken the sauce a little. Taste for seasoning and tartness, adjusting if necessary.
  16. Add a handful of spinach and sprinkle with chopped coriander and serve.

 

Instant Pot Method

 

You can also make the curry in the Instant Pot. The benefit of this method is that you don’t have continually stir the curry or keep an eye on the curry. You just press the relevant buttons and walk away leaving it to cook.

  1. Soak the chickpeas in a bowl of cold water for at least 8 hours. Ensure there is enough water to cover completely.
  2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and place into a large pot.  Cover with several inches of water.
  3. Cover the Instant Pot with the lid, ensure the valve is in the sealed position. Press the ‘Manual’ button and adjust cooking time to 25 minutes.
  4. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and wash the Instant Pot.
  5. Wash the lentils and set aside.
  6. Puree the garlic, ginger and onions and set aside.
  7. Puree the tomatoes and set aside.
  8. Press the ‘Saute’ button to begin cooking at medium heat.
  9. Add the oil to the Instant Pot.
  10. Add the cumin seeds, stir until they start to become fragrant and start to crackle. 
  11. Add the cloves, cardamom pods, bay leaf and cinnamon bark to the pot and stir.
  12. Add the chillies.
  13. Add the onion puree mixture to the Instant Pot and stir and cook for 5 minutes.
  14. Add the chilli, turmeric, cumin and coriander powder and mix well. Keep stirring so that the mixture doesn’t stick to the Instant Pot. Add a little water if necessary to loosen the mixture.
  15. Add the tomato paste and the pureed tomatoes to the pot.
  16. Add the lentils and chickpeas and stir well. Add enough water to cover the mixture, more if you want a looser texture.
  17. Cover the Instant Pot with the lid, ensure the valve is in the sealed position. Press the ‘Manual’ button and adjust cooking time to 20 minutes.
  18. When the time is up, release the pressure by moving the valve to the venting position.
  19. Open the lid and add the spinach and garnish with coriander.


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