If you follow my food blog regularly, I’m sure you’re well aware that I’m on somewhat of an Indian food kick right now. Something about the complex blend of spices and flavors is very satisfying to me, and more often than not Indian-inspired dishes are insanely healthy and jam packed with nutrient-rich foods. So last night I got to experimenting in my kitchen with Indian spices and ingredients, which resulted in this tasty and healthy Curried Chickpea and Spinach “Stew”.
I think what intrigues me about good Indian food is the explosion of flavor that occurs with every bite. I have never been able to recreate the same sensation and experience in my kitchen as what I taste when I eat real Indian food. I truly think you have to have grown up and be immersed in the Indian culture, with generations of people before you teaching you the art of Indian cooking before you can replicate the same sort of dishes and flavors. Which is totally not fair btw…. However, it won’t keep me from trying!
Another bonus of cooking Indian-ish meals are that there are so many vegetarian options that are low in fat and high in protein. Served on top of rice or starch and you have a complete and satisfying meal that will keep you full for hours and has so many health benefits. Also, because there’s a million spices included, salt takes a backseat and is not needed in large quantities. Which is good if you’re trying to slowly kick your salt addiction (like myself).
For me, chickpeas are like a wonder food. Seriously, they’re so good, not to mention high in protein, and you can basically pop them in anything to round out your meal and give it that something extra. I usually always keep a can or two in my pantry, so when I was trying to think of how I could whip together a meal I immediately thought of them. I also had a bag of spinach in my fridge that needed to be used, and a couple tomatoes. The combination of these three things reminded me of dishes that I’ve seen many-a-time on Indian restaurant menus, so I knew I couldn’t go wrong if I added some curry and spices.
And just as I presumed, this turned out delicious. I actually served it on some cauliflower mash, at the BF’s request, but usually I’d serve it on rice. But after tasting it on the mash I realized you could probably serve it on anything and it would be awesome, or just eat it by itself!
Curried Chickpea and Spinach “Stew” (serves 4)
- 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 2 large handfuls of spinach
- Juice from 1/2 a lime
- 2 roma tomatoes, diced with juices
- 1 large clove garlic
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, and stir for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the chickpeas. Stir to combine and add the spices, and continue sautéing until onions are translucent. Add the diced tomatoes and the water, and stir. Add in the handfuls of spinach and fold them in to wilt the leaves. Reduce heat slightly and continue cooking on a simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes are cooked down and are separating from their skin. Depending on your desired consistency, feel free to add more water. Before serving, add the lime juice and stir. Taste for any needed additional seasoning, and serve over cauliflower mash, mashed potatoes, or rice.