If I had to choose just my most favourite type of food then it would have to be curries. Not just because I love hot food, but it’s the vibrant colours, the complex flavours and the rich aromas – to me it’s simply happy honest food, that’s the best way I can describe it.
And with so so many vegetarian and vegan dishes, there is certainly no shortage of options!
Despite curries being a real favourite in our house, I must admit that Indian cooking isn’t something I have fully mastered yet. Overall I have improved a great deal and I am now able to cook a number of dishes from scratch (mainly thanks to one of my favourite cookbooks, Prashad Cookbook: Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Kaushy Patel which has taught me a lot) but I guess I can see how this particular cuisine can at first be a little daunting, especially when you’re not familiar with the wide range of spices used and how they interact with each other in a dish.
And with so many amazing Indian restaurants all over the country, I can understand why we’ve got a bit lazy when it comes to cooking Indian food at home!
So today I have a recipe for those who don’t feel quite ready to start cooking Indian dishes from scratch but still want to achieve those wonderful flavours without turning to takeaways or microwave meals.
Passata is the “secret ingredient” that gives this dish a creamy consistency without using dairy products, something that I discovered by accident as I was initially going to used chopped tomatoes only to find that I’d run out!
Try this recipe and see what you think. If you like it as much as I do, then you can start experimenting with different pulses and vegetables and then perhaps raise your game and try out a few dishes from scratch.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 small onions, sliced
- 3 tbsp tikka masala paste (I used Patak’s)
- 2 410g cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 500g passata
- 400g frozen spinach (frozen weight)
- Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onions until soft and translucent.
- Add the tikka masala paste and 2 tablespoons of hot water. Stir well and cook together for 2 minutes to allow the spices to release their flavours.
- Add the drained chickpeas and stir well to ensure they’re evenly coated by the spices.
- Add the passata, the frozen spinach and 300ml of boiling water. Bring to a simmer and keep stirring until the spinach cubes have broken down. Cook for approximately 20 minutes until the sauce has reduced down to a creamy consistency. Serve with boiled basmati rice or naan breads.
What’s your favourite vegetarian Indian dish? Do you prepare curries at home? Leave a comment and join the conversation!