Chickpea and Sweet Potato Curry
A mild curry recipe from Nigel Slater’s “The Kitchen Diaries”, this makes a great meal for six people, and uses loads of store-cupboard seeds and spices.
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. Peel and chop 2 medium onions, 4 cloves of garlic, 3 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 groundnut 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.
Roughly chop 500g tomatoes, 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 occassionaly, 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. Curries are all about experimenting until you get the balance right, and using the ingredients that you have.