Chana Aloo

ChanaAloo

Now, when my friend Jon asked me if I would add a post on his blog site I was a little scared, if I’m honest. I’ve never blogged before and as far as my culinary skills go, well, let’s just say I might get a quarter star one day, if I’m lucky. However, the reason I wanted to do it is because I really want to show other people that exciting, exotic dishes do not have to be complicated and scary and they can turn out pretty yummy too!

I’m a big fan of the curry. It’s got to be one of the most diverse dishes out there and you can have so much fun just throwing things in and seeing if they work (and generally they do). So this is a take on two of my favourite dishes; chana masala and sag aloo. One thing I will quickly mention before I start is that all of the measurements are guidelines only, most of my cooking is done to taste and I tend to overload on two key ingredients in each dish that compliment each other, such as ginger and lime.

Ingredients

  • 1 large bag of fresh spinach
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 fresh hot green chillies (or red if you’re feeling brave), halved and thinly sliced and don’t you dare take the seeds out!
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds, ground
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1tsp tamarind paste
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes

Method

1. Boil a steamer pan of water. Add the sweet potato and steam the spinach on top for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan (I make all my curries in my wok) and cook the onion, chickpeas, garlic, chilli and spices for about five minutes over a medium heat. Can I just add here that the key to any successful curry is in the cooking of the onions. They must be fried enough to slightly caramelise them but not too much that they are burnt. I always start off very hot and turn it straight down once they’re in, stirring madly.
3. . Drain the sweet potato and add it to the onions and chick peas. Drain the spinach and run under a cold tap, so you can squeeze the water out. Place in a food processor and chop the spinach to a coarse purée
4. Add the tomatoes and tamarind then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the spinach purée and serve with naan (rice will do too but personally it’s a bit too dry for rice for me) and a wedge of lime to squeeze over it.

Very quick, very easy and very tasty!