Tomato Chickpea Curry with Kokum & Seasonal Vegetables

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dairy free / dinner / egg free / favourites / gluten free / lunch / savoury / vegan / vegetarian

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This is one of the tastiest curry dishes and it is on the menu for dinner this week. The browned onions add a rich flavour and pair beautifully with the tomato and tang of the kokum. It is also easy and quick to make and friendly for people who eat a vegetarian or solely plant-based diet. I often make a mung bean dahl (recipe coming soon) and basmati rice to go with it. Slow-rise spelt naan or overnight chapatis are also a delicious addition to this meal.

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This is a versatile vegetable curry that can be made any time of the year. Use what vegetables you have on hand. Squash, potatoes and cabbage are usually found in my pantry in the cooler months. But eggplant, green beans, cauliflower, courgette and even mushrooms are some other veggies that end up in this curry from time to time depending on the season. You can also substitute the chick peas for lentils (as pictured) or other beans depending on what you have on hand.

Kokum is a sour fruit found in Western India and it gives this curry its characteristic tang. The fruit is used in many Indian dishes and is also regarded as a cure for upset stomach, colds and flu. Kokum is inexpensive and can be found in Indian and Asian food supply stores. If it is not available to you, substitute it with tamarind, or 3 pitted prunes or dates with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.  

Tomato Chickpea Curry with Seasonal Vegetables

¼ cup coconut oil

1 onion – chopped

½ tsp asafoetida – optional

1 TBLS dried kokum* or tamarind – seeds removed and chopped

1 TBLS fresh turmeric – finely grated or chopped (or 1 tsp ground powder)

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground fenugreek

1 tsp sea salt

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

400g potatoes – cut into 3cm pieces

¼ of a pumpkin or butternut squash – cut into 2cm cubes

¼ of a cabbage – sliced

400g cooked chick peas (or lentils or other beans of choice) – drained and rinsed

½ – 1 cup water

*Kokum or tamarind can be found at Indian and Asian food stores. However, for this recipe you can substitute it with 3 pitted prunes or dates and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

  1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot heat coconut oil over a medium-high heat. Once hot, add onion and sauté for about 7-8 minutes, or until brown but not burned.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium, add asafoetida (if using) and stir well. Add kokum (see note for substitute), turmeric, cumin, salt, fenugreek and chopped tomatoes. Stir well and sauté for another minute.
  3. Add potatoes, pumpkin, cabbage, chick peas and water and stir. Bring to a boil then cover with a lid and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Serve with basmati rice and Dhal.

The Author

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.

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