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Chickpea & Sweet Potato Curry

200 g dried chickpeas (about 1.5 cups) soaked for several hours in water (or one tin of chickpeas) 2 medium onions, chopped 4 cloves garlic, chopped 2 or 3 red chilles (fresh if you have them, otherwise dried, or I keep mine in the freezer) 15 curry leaves (I used dried ones) 3 carrots one medium squash or pumpkin one large sweet potato 1 tin chopped tomatoes 2 teaspoons coriander seeds 6 green cardamom pods 2 Tablespoons oil 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds 2 teaspoons ground turmeric coriander leaves (to garnish) 250g plain Greek yoghurt (optional, to garnish) Soak 200g for several hours (or overnight if possible). Drain, and cook them in boiling water for about 45 mins, until they are reasonably tender.  Or if you are totally lazy like me ... open a tin of chickpeas and drain ;-) Peel and chop 2 medium onions, 4 cloves of garlic,  fresh red chillies, and 3 carrots, keeping them separate.  Grind 2 teaspoons of coriander seeds to a coarse powder, remove the black seeds from 6 green cardamom pods and grind those to a powder.

Pour 2 tablespoons of oil into a heavy-bottomed casserole dish set over a moderate to low heat – cook the onions and garlic until translucent and golden. Stir in 15 curry leaves, 1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds and 2 teaspoons of ground turmeric, as well as the ground coriander, cardamom, turmeric and chopped chillies. Leave to sizzle for 2-3 minutes then add the chopped carrots and continue cooking over a low heat for 4-5 minutes.

Tip in the chopped tomatoes, chop a medium squash (or small pumpkin) and 400g sweet potato and add them to the casserole. Stir, then pour in 750ml vegetable stock. Turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Discard any froth that appears on the top, then turn the heat down so that the contents simmer gently. Stir occassionally, keeping an eye on the vegetables so that they become tender, but not broken up.

When the vegetables have softened, drain then chickpeas and stir them into the curry. Stir in 250g of Greek yoghurt, making sure that the mixture does not boil (causing it to turn grainy). Stir in a handful of coriander leaves just before serving with rice.

You can also add 150g small mushrooms at the final stage with the chickpeas. For a hotter curry use stronger chillies, and increase the quantities of coriander seeds and turmeric. 

Adapted from Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries


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