I love curry. It’s such a year round comfort food for me.
In the past, curry has always fallen under the category of dishes I only eat when I’m at a restaurant because they are better left to the professionals. Sushi still lives in this category for me. Curry, I’m proud to say, has made the transition into everyday cooking. Don’t get me wrong, I still order it as much as possible at restaurants and it will probably always be an infinitely better version of my own. (I can’t compete with family recipes!) At least now I’m not afraid to make a quick, cheaper version for myself.
Since I am not concerning myself with abiding to any authentic or regional recipes, I feel free to add whatever veggies I want. This version kept to tomatoes, green peppers, and onions. I’ve added broccoli, potatoes – red and sweet, and mushrooms in the past. Curry is pretty versatile, go nuts!
Chickpeas – canned or dry?
For me, it’s dry every time. Sure, they take longer to cook and require more planning if you plan to soak them overnight. (Although I have read some recent debate on whether or not that actually matters.)
For me, the benefits far outweigh the cons. Pros:
1) Cost effective – 1 bag equals about 4 cans but 1 bag costs about the same as a single can
2) Ingredient control – A lot of canned beans will have added sodium and other
preservatives. I like the control of knowing whatever is in my food is there because I added it.
3) Health benefits – potentially, I have read several articles on a variety of vegetables that all seem to suggest that the canning process cuts out the majority of benefits from the food.
4) BPA free packaging
I cut down on cooking time by giving them a boil before adding them to any dish. This softens up the bean and reduces the time other ingredients are cooked at high heat (retaining more nutrients and crunch of the other ingredients.)
I’ve said my piece on beans, but the decision is ultimately yours. Hey, sometimes canned veggies are just the easiest way to go!
Step 1) Chop! Everything ends up getting boiled for awhile in the sauce so in the interest of avoiding a mushy mess, I kept the cuts a little heartier.
Step 2) Heat your oil over medium-low heat in a large pan or stockpot. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add onions and cook until sweating. Add peppers and cook another minute or two. Add tomatoes. (This is when I get the rice cooking on the side.)
Step 3) Add your spices and mix until your veggies are coated. After the spices it’s the chickpeas and the veggie broth. Bring everything to a simmer
Step 4) Once everything is cooked to perfection and the liquid is at a respectable level (you want a thick sauce to soak into the rice, but not too runny,) turn off the heat and stir in the cilantro.
Step 5) Stir in the plain Greek yogurt last. (I always do a final taste test here and add more spices as needed. Serve over rice.
(This recipe is great reheated, making it a winner for the weekly lunches)
Chickpea Veggie Curry
Serves 10 lunch portions (1 1/2 cups) or 5-6 dinner portions
- 1 bag dry chickpeas (or 4 cans if you prefer)
- 2 green peppers
- 5-6 on vine tomatoes
- 2 onions, any color (see above for discussion of subbing and adding veggies)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 4-6 sprigs of cilantro
- 3-4 cups cooked rice (this version uses jasmine rice, basmati or brown would also work fine)
- 1 cup plain, Greek yogurt
- 2 cups veggie stock (homemade or canned)
- 3 tbsp. curry powder (mine was a spice blend that also contained Garam masala, adding Garam Masala gives the curry a totally different flavor, if you are not using a blend with it, considering adding a tbsp. in place of plain curry powder.)
- 1 tbsp. cumin
- 1/2 tbsp. turmeric powder
- 3 tbsp. coconut oil or similar
- salt and pepper to taste
Pre-cooking: If you are using dry beans and you prefer to soak them, soak the beans overnight. I have made this with soaked beans and beans straight out of the bag before. Soaking or not, boil your beans until they are slightly soft. This will cut down on boil time for all the other ingredients. For soaked beans, this was about 7 minutes of boiling.
- Prep the veggies. Mince garlic. Cut peppers, tomatoes, and onions into 1/2 inch pieces. Pull cilantro from stems and cut fine.
- Heat oil over medium-low heat and cook garlic until fragrant.
- Add in the onions and cook until sweating. Add in the peppers and cook 2-3 minutes, add in tomatoes
- Add spices to the veggies and stir to coat them
- Add in chickpeas and veggie stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until veggies are soft.
- Remove from the heat and mix in cilantro.
- Mix in the Greek yogurt. Add additional spices to taste.