Creamy Mushroom and Chickpea curry.

Here is a another simple but flavourful recipe that’s colourful, tasty and filling.

It’s decadently creamy. Looks, tastes and smells so good.

Ingredients.

• 1/2 cup of whole cashew nuts, soaked in 1 cup water for a couple of hours.

• 2 -3 tbsp coconut oil.

• Whole spices:1 tsp whole cumin seeds, one bay leaf, one cinnamon stick, 5 cardamom pods and 4 whole cloves.

• I large onion, chopped.

• 1 tbsp paste of crushed ginger, garlic and turmeric.

• 1 tbsp tomato paste.

• 1/4 tsp ground turmeric.

• 1 tsp Garam Masala.

• 1 tsp paprika.

• 1 tsp ground mixed spices blend.

• 2 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped.

• Mixed vegetables: chopped bell pepper, one small eggplant, one courgette.

• I small pack oyster mushrooms.

• 1 400g can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed.

• Salt and pepper to taste.

Method.

• Heat your sauce pan and add the coconut oil, followed by the whole spices. Let them release aroma and once the cumin seeds start sputtering, add the chopped onion, a pinch of salt and let it cook till soft and translucent.

• Add the ginger garlic paste next and mix well so it doesn’t burn. Then add the tomato paste and the ground spices. Lower heat and let the spices release their oils and flavour, then in go the tomatoes.

• This will be followed by the mixed vegetables. Mix well then cover and let them cook down in their own liquid.

• As the vegetables cook, drain and rinse your chickpeas if you had not done so already. And also blend the soaked cashews in your food processor or blender to a smooth paste.

• Once the veggies are cooked a bit and reduced, mix in the chickpeas. Remember to check seasoning as you go.

• Add the cashew cream, cover and let simmer for about 5 minutes.

• It will thicken the sauce and give it a creamy texture.

• Once ready, garnish with coriander and let sit a while before serving.

This curry goes well on its own, you can add some broth or water as it simmers and have it with a dinner roll.

It also goes well with rice, naan and even chapati.

Enjoy the colour, aroma and taste as it all comes together.

This is a restaurant quality curry when it comes to flavour, it packs a punch but not too spicy. Take your time to let the spices cook well and the vegetables cook down to release all their delicious flavor. It doesn’t take long to cook, but do not rush it.

Try it and let me know how yours came out.

Love,

Wanjoro.

My Chicken Palak Curry.

I’m a big fan of various Indian delicacies. And this is how I make one of my favorite chicken curry dishes.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients.

1. 1 whole chicken, cut into 8 large pieces.

2. 2 bunches of spinach (Swiss chard)

3. 1 bunch fresh mint. chopped.

4. 1 bunch coriander, stems and leaves separated.

5. Salt and pepper to taste.

6. 1/2 cup of unflavoured yoghurt.

7. 3 ripe tomatoes, pureed.

8. 1 large onion, chopped.

9. 1 tbsp ginger and garlic paste.

10. A small knob of grated whole turmeric.

11. 1 tbsp garam masala

12. 1 tbsp tomato paste.

13. 1 tsp mixed spice blend (see picture for what I used).

14. 1 tbsp kasuri methi.

15. Whole spices: cumin seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, a few cloves and cardamom pods.

16. 2 tbsp ghee.

Method.

• Chop and clean your chicken, and pat dry.

• Mix the yoghurt with half of the ginger, garlic and turmeric paste, the chopped mint, garam masala, mixed spice blend and salt and pepper.

Marinate the chicken in this mixture overnight or for a couple of hours if pressed for time. (Reserve a bit of the mint though).

• Heat your pan, add ghee and the whole spices. Let them release aroma then add onion.

Let the onion cook till soft and a bit browned. Add the remaining ginger garlic, turmeric paste, coriander stems and mix well.

• Next go in the tomato paste and pureed tomatoes. Lower heat and let them cook till you see the oil leaving the sides of the pan, then add the marinated chicken. Cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes.

• As the chicken cooks, blanch the spinach, cool in icy cold water to preserve the bright green colour then drain and puree together with the mint and coriander leaves you had set aside.

• Add the pureed greens to the chicken and mix in well. Cover and cook for about 10-12 minutes. Or until chicken is cooked through. Remember to check on the seasoning.

The dried methi leaves go in last. Switch off heat and let sit a bit.

It looks, smells and tastes so good!

Serve the curry with jeera rice and some naan or chapati.

As with all curries, It tastes better once it sits a bit so keep some aside for lunch the next day. The flavours will be even better!

Chicken Curry in a Hurry.

Here is a simple, but oh so creamy, and tasty coconut chicken curry that is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner for the family.

It uses your pantry staples; so you do not need to worry about complicated shopping, and I dare say it’s restaurant quality in terms of richness, flavour and visual appeal.

For our ingredients we shall need, chicken breast, cubed. chopped onion, shopped tomato, tomato paste, ginger garlic paste, coconut cream, coriander, ground turmeric, a pinch of red chilli powder, and Kenyan curry powder.

Sprinkle some salt and freshly ground pepper on your chicken cubes.

Heat your pan, add some oil, once hot, sear the chicken on high heat till golden brown. This is to seal the moisture; do not let it cook through, set aside.

In the same pan, add more oil if needed.

Fry onion till soft and add the ginger garlic paste, then the ground spices. Let them cook well before adding tomatoes, which you will also cook down.

Add the chicken and mix in well into the tomato and onion mix.

Chicken breast cooks really fast, so you do not want to overcook it.

Add the coconut cream, cover and simmer for about 10-15 minutes for the chicken to cook through and absorb the curry flavours.

Once ready, garnish with coriander and serve hot.
Creamy, luscious, colourful, quick and easy to make and finger licking good.

Best served with some naan. Or?

Love,

Wanjoro.

Easy Charred Eggplant and Peas.

Here is another delicious eggplant recipe that will have you wanting more of this amazing vegetable. It is spicy, has some heat, is filling, tasty, and colourful. The wonderful aromas and flavours are heightened with the addition of some coconut milk which adds to the richness and complexity of flavour to the dish.

All you need are two eggplants, sliced onion, garlic ginger paste, one sliced tomato, one cup of peas and one chopped potato. Spices used are mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dhana jeera powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and garam masala. Other ingredients are coconut oil, tomato paste and salt and pepper to taste and one cup of coconut milk.

First, chop your eggplant into thickish pieces and pan fry for about 12 minutes, 6 on each side until browned and a bit charred, set aside.

Heat your saucepan, add one tablespoon of coconut oil and a teaspoon of the black mustard seeds and whole cumin seeds, once they start sputtering, add your sliced onion. Mix well and let cook till onions begin browning at the edges then add your one teaspoon of crushed ginger and garlic.

Once the ginger garlic is cooked a bit, add one tbsp of the dhana jeera powder, a pinch of chilli powder, 1/4 tsps of the ground turmeric and one tbsp of tomato paste. Let cook and keep stirring so it doesn’t burn, then add your sliced tomato.

Reduce heat and cover to let the tomatoes cook down. Once they are softened completely, add the potatoes and a cup of water. Cover and let simmer for a while till the potatoes are almost soft, then add your peas.

Let the peas cook a bit and mix well into the sauce, then add your eggplant and coconut milk. Cover once again and simmer for ten minutes on very low heat.

As it simmers, the flavours and colours will meld together into a beautiful sauce that will have an inviting aroma too.

Garnish with chopped dhania when ready, then serve with your main of choice.

The curry looks and smells amazing. The eggplant holds its shape well and is full of all the lovely spicy flavours with a hint of smokiness from the charred parts. Delish!

I had mine with some soft and flaky pumpkin chapati.
It also goes well with some basmati rice.

If you are looking for simple and delicious way to have your eggplant, this dish is a great option. Be it #meatlessmonday or #eggplantthursday, it ticks all the boxes for a colourful, decadent and tasty vegetarian curry.

Instant Pot Kala Chana Curry.

One of the best things about having the instant pot is being able to boil dry cereals and legumes in a short period of time. No more setting aside a day to boil various legumes and pack them in the freezer for weeks or months, and woe unto you if you have no power for a day or so, and have to throw them out.

I have been trying out various recipes in the instant pot and I am happy with it. No instant pot? No worries. This simple chickpea curry can be made on the stovetop too.

Black chickpeas also known as “kala chana” are darker in colour and more meatier than the light coloured chickpeas, which makes them perfect for a filling vegetarian meal. They are rich in fibre, hence make you feel full for longer, and help prevent constipation. They are full of antioxidants, as well as folate and magnesium, low in fat and rich in iron among other benefits.

This simple dish can be had as a side or a main meal with rice or chapati along with a salad and other vegetables. Let’s get started.

Ingredients:-

  1. 1 1/2 cups soaked brown chickpeas
  2. I chopped onion
  3. 1 tbsp cooking oil
  4. 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  5. 1 chopped tomato and some tomato paste
  6. Spices: 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 bay leaf, 1/4 tsp turmeric, and 1 tsp dhana jeera powder and garam masala
  7. Salt and pepper
  8. Chopped coriander leaves and freshly squeezed lemon juice to garnish.

Method.

Switch on your instant pot and select the Sauté function.
Once hot, add a tbsp of cooking oil, followed by the bay leaf and a teaspoon of cumin seeds, then add onion when the seeds begin to sputter.
Let the onion cook then add the ginger garlic paste. Mix well and let cook a bit before adding the ground spices. Mix again and add a splash of water to deglaze the pot.
Add tomato paste and tomatoes. Let cook a while.
Add the drained chickpeas and mix well into the masala.
Check seasoning then add 2 cups of water. The chickpeas do not absorb that much water, so too much water will not do. Cover the pot and cancel sauté function.
Select the bean/ chilli program on the instant pot. I left the keep warm option on too. Let it cook and let the pressure release naturally when done. Do not rush it with a quick pressure release.

Once done, uncover the cooker and add your chopped coriander leaves, squeeze a half lemon over it and an additional little sprinkle of garam masala will not hurt. Let sit a bit then serve.

I had mine with rice and a slice of avocado on the side.
You can also have it with chapati.

This curry is perfect for weeknights when you do not want to spend too much time cooking. It is healthy, tasty and filling and you can serve with a salad or avocado slice for added nutrition and colour.

If making it on the stovetop just soak your chickpeas overnight, rinse, drain and boil them before making the curry.

Definitely worth a try, isn’t it?