Indian in 7 chickpeas in a spiced curry sauce

This simple recipe is one of the most popular ones at my cooking classes. You can make the curry sauce in bulk and freeze some, so that the next time it will take less than 10 minutes to make this dish. If you cook rice on the side and chop up some crunchy salad, a hearty meal can be on the table within 20 minutes.

chickpeas in a spiced curry sauce
Gareth Morgans

SERVES 4

2 onions, sliced
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp medium chilli powder
1 tsp ground coriander
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves, to garnish

STORE-CUPBOARD STAPLES

3 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste (see below, or good quality variety from a jar)
salt

1. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of sunflower oil in a heavy-based saucepan and fry the onions over a high heat for 4-5 minutes until they start to turn golden brown. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for a further 7-8 minutes until they are soft.

2. Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for a few seconds, then add the tomato purée and fry for a minute or until well blended. Remove from the heat, carefully transfer the mixture to a blender, add enough cold water to just cover the mixture, then blend until smooth. Set aside.

3. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of sunflower oil in the same pan and add the ground spices. Fry over a high heat for a few seconds until they change colour, then add 3-4 tablespoons of cold water and continue to cook until the water has evaporated. Add the chickpeas and mix well, then cook over a high heat for 3-4 minutes until the chickpeas have heated through.

4. Stir in the sauce from the blender and season with salt. Rinse out the blender with 2-3 tablespoons of cold water and add this to the pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 5-6 minutes until the curry is heated through. Serve hot with plain boiled rice or rotis and garnished with the coriander.

TIPS You can use other canned beans here – try butter beans or red kidney beans.

This dish can also be cooked with firm vegetables, such as potatoes, cauliflower or broccoli – these will go into the pan first, then the ground spices along with a splash of water. Lastly, the curry sauce can be poured on top and cooked until the vegetables are tender. 

MY STANDBY GINGER-GARLIC PASTE
Combine 1 part peeled and chopped fresh ginger (scrape the thin skin off with a teaspoon) and 2 parts (by volume) peeled and chopped garlic. If making a small amount, you can grate both or crush them using a mortar and pestle. For larger amounts, blitz the peeled and chopped ginger and garlic in a blender, along with a little cold water to turn the blades and make a smooth paste. You can store the paste in the fridge. Put it into a clean jam jar and cover the surface with oil (any cooking oil); it will keep for up to 3 weeks (top up the oil as necessary).

indian in 7 recipes

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