1.7.14 Spinach, Tomato, and Chickpea Curry
Congratulations! If you’re reading this post, it means you’ve managed to survive the frigidly cold weather to hit Wisconsin this week. Or should I say the “Arctic Blast”, which makes it sound way more fun that it really is. Like instead of living in a frozen tundra, we are enjoying some sort of refreshing energy drink. Or having a really fun winter party. But in my opinion, this so-called ‘Arctic Blast’ is anything but a blast. It’s just plain cold.
Personally, I’ve been weathering the extreme cold mainly through something akin to hibernation. A roaring fire in the fireplace, cup after cup of hot tea, and bundling up in pretty much all of the blankets we own. Of course, eventually, one must venture out of the house for things like going to work, and doing that thing everyone is doing where you throw boiling water into the air and it immediately turns into snow. This is an ordeal in and of itself, considering the amount of thermal long underwear, wool socks, and general layering that is currently required to survive the outdoors. It makes one feel like the little brother in ‘A Christmas Story’.
So, I’m sure you can imagine that throughout this barrage of cold weather, all I’ve wanted to eat is spicy food. I mean really spicy food. Like, for example, curry. Not only is curry nicely spicy, but it has that sort of warming spice that almost makes you forget you’re practically living in Antarctica. Served with some warm naan and a cup of hot tea, and you’ve got one delicious dinner. Not to mention some much needed warmth. And with lots of spinach, chickpeas, and tomatoes, it’s pretty healthy too. So go ahead and get your curry on. And above all, stay warm!
Spinach, Tomato, and Chickpea Curry
Now, I’m partial to a lot of spice, but feel free to tone it down with a less spicy curry powder. The sweet curry from Penzey’s is a great mild one. And of course, feel free to get creative with your curry add-ins. Want something meatier? Throw some chicken in there. Cauliflower and potatoes make an excellent additions as well.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 6 oz spinach
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt, plus more for serving
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 Tbsp hot curry powder (add more hot red pepper to reach desired spice level)
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 medium tomatoes, cut into quarters
- 2 15 oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Cilantro, for serving
1. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the spinach, and cook, stirring, until spinach is wilted and cooked down, about 3-4 minutes.
2. Transfer cooked spinach to a blender or food processor and blend together with 1 cup greek yogurt. Set yogurt/spinach mixture aside.
3. In the same pan you cooked the spinach, heat another 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add the onion, curry powder and salt, and cook until onion is soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
4. Crush the quartered tomatoes with your hands and add the crushed tomato pulp, juice, and seeds to the onions in the pan (it’s easiest to crush the tomatoes right over the pan so all of the juices drip right in). Stir in tomatoes and cook mixture for another 5 minutes.
5. Gradually add the spinach/yogurt mixture to the pan. Add a little at a time, stirring well after each addition. Adding the yogurt in too quickly will cause it to break or separate. If the yogurt separates, there’s no good way to get it back, but the curry will still taste delicious!
6. Add the chickpeas and lemon juice, and stir until fully combined. Season to taste with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
7. Serve with warm rice, or naan. Top curry with a dollop of yogurt and some cilantro sprigs.