Spinach-and-chickpea coconut curry for a quick, easy dinner on Meatless Monday
No one's saying you have to go meatless just because it's Monday -- but as incentive to join the growing movement, every week we're offering an animal-free recipe.
There are times when the last thing you want to do after getting home from a long day at work is to make dinner -- especially something even semi-healthy. But if you have coconut milk and curry in your pantry (two staples for any plant-based eater) and some fresh or frozen produce, you can make a curry in about half an hour that's so easy (and tasty) that you'll weep with gratitude.
You will need:
4-6 cups baby spinach
1 can coconut milk (can be reduced-fat; Thai Kitchen is by far the best brand)
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can diced tomatoes
3-4 cloves garlic
5 whole cloves or a pinch of powdered cloves
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 tablespoon curry powder
1-2 tablespoons tahini
Rice or pita bread to serve
If you'll be enjoying this curry with rice, get that started before you do anything else.
1. Drain and rinse your garbanzo beans.
2. Place the beans, the diced tomatoes and the coconut milk (if using full-fat, you'll need a spoon to scoop out the cream) together in a large pot on the stove; start warming them up on medium-high heat.
3. Press the garlic into the pot.
4. Add the turmeric, curry powder and cloves to the mixture. (You can also experiment here -- add some cayenne, red pepper flakes or dried chiles for spice, cumin for some extra savory flavor.)
5. Stir everything together, then add the spinach, cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally to mix the spinach in thoroughly.
It will start to wilt.
6. When the spinach is wilted, like above (the curry sauce should be boiling), turn the heat down and simmer, partially covered or uncovered -- depending on how thick you like your curry -- for twenty to thirty minutes, stirring occasionally.
7. About five minutes before the curry is done, add a tablespoon or two of tahini to help smooth it all out a little bit.
Dish it up with rice or pita bread and enjoy!
Once you're comfortable with this recipe, there's no limit to the options -- throw in a potato or two for extra thickness, use cauliflower and peas instead of spinach and chickpeas. It's a quick meal that requires minimal prep work, yet still tastes fantastic.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.