Chick pea vindaloo


I am so gloriously happy to see the last day of winter finally come round, albeit a wet, cold and windy one.  Spring is nearly here!  I have made myself the hottest possible vindaloo for lunch and am going to dream about the sun while I'm eating it.  This recipe uses my hand roasted, small batch vindaloo masala, an all natural mix of dried chillies, turmeric, cumin seeds, bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and black pepper.  If you haven't got your hands on some, try and use another good quality vindaloo masala. 

For 4 people you will need:

2-3 tablespoons of oil

2-3 big tomatoes, blended or grated into a pulp

1 large clove of garlic, crushed

1 green chilli, sliced down the middle

2 heaped teaspoons of vindaloo masala powder

2 tins of chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or substitute kidney beans, black eyed beans or cannelini beans, alternatively you can also use vegetables)

A cup of stock

1 teaspoon of salt

1/2 a teaspoon of sugar

1 heaped teaspoon of tamarind paste

To make the curry, heat the oil in a heavy saucepan and gently fry the garlic and green chilli for a minute or so until it starts to smell cooked, then add the pulpy tomatoes and stir, followed by the vindaloo powder.  Stir-fry on medium heat until the tomato starts to reduce and the mixture becomes thick and glossy.  At this point add the drained chickpeas, half to a cup of stock, the salt and sugar and the tamarind paste.  Gently cook for 15-20 minutes until the curry reduces nicely, adding a bit more stock to top up the gravy as you go and at the end to achieve the consistency of gravy you like.  Taste for salt, sugar and the right balance of flavours at the end and serve with some baby spinach leaves tossed through, and or some fresh coriander.