Tinned lentils and beans make a great, easy to prepare comfort food in the depths of winter. Today was cold and wet, and this quick to make chick pea curry was the perfect antidote. This recipe uses my bottle masala, so if you don't have any substitute with a good curry powder or your own mix of red chilli powder, turmeric and whole cumin seeds.
To feed four people generously (you can also easily halve the recipe), you will need:
3 tablespoons of oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 stalk of curry leaves (if you have them)
1 tablespoon of crushed ginger
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of Bombay bottle masala
2 large tomatoes, blended to a pulp
2 tins of chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon of tamarind paste
1 teaspoon of salt
half a bag of fresh baby spinach leaves
a handful of fresh coriander, chopped
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion. Add the curry leaves, ginger and chilli and fry until everything is lightly brown. Add the bottle masala, quickly followed by the pulped tomatoes and stir until everything is mushy and starts to smell nice. Empty the drained chickpeas into the pan, stir well and cover and cook on a very low heat for 10-15 minutes. Stir intermittently and add a little splash of water here and there if the curry is too dry. At the end, add the tamarind paste and salt, and adjust water to ensure you have as much gravy as you like. Just before serving, throw in the baby spinach leaves and fresh coriander and stir through.