Bring me a Baby Spicy Chickpea and Lentil Curry


This is the week my baby is due. I’m spending a lot of time blogging, crocheting, watching films, sorting things out and cooking. I’ve also ended up reading about lots of natural ways to induce labour… my fiancée says if I drink any more Raspberry Leaf Tea I’m going to turn pink. I’ve munched my way through a few pineapples, tried some acupressure points and eaten several lots of curry, which is also rumoured to do the trick.

The other night we went to our new favourite South Indian restaurant and I had a beautiful Dahl Sagg. On Wednesday I thought I’d make my own curry, so looked to Madhur Jaffrey for some inspiration, in her Eastern Vegetarian Cooking book.

I adapted her recipe for Very Spicy Delicious Chickpeas, by changing the spices slightly and using a mixture of chickpeas and lentils for variety. I served it up with whole wheat chapatis and some very hot lime pickle.

I’m not sure why eating spicy foods is supposed to help bring on labour – and to be honest – it doesn’t seem to have worked so far – but it’s an excuse to cook and enjoy some lovely food. We might make our own Masala Dosa this evening, so watch this space.

Spicy chickpea and lentil curry

Spicy chickpea and lentil curry

Bring me a Baby Spicy Chickpea and Lentil Curry

Serves 2 (generous portions)
Cooking/preparation time 40 mins (longer if you allow it to sit a while for the flavours to develop)

5 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
4-6 tomatoes, chopped
1 tin chickpeas, drained
1 tin green lentils, drained
1 tbsp lemon juice
8 fl oz /240ml water
2 medium green chillies, finely chopped
2 cm fresh ginger, grated

1. Fry the onions and garlic in the sunflower oil on a medium heat, until they start to brown and are really soft.
2. Add in all the spices apart from the chillies and ginger. Keep the heat on medium-low and continue to fry for a minute.
3. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas and lentils and stir in thoroughly, then add the salt and lemon juice.
4. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes, before adding the water, covering and leaving to simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes. Now add in the chilli and ginger. Cover and return to simmer for another 10-15 minutes or until you are ready to serve.
5. Curries do well developing flavours if you leave them to stew, so don’t be afraid to make this in advance and allow it to sit for an hour or two before re-heating and serving.
6. Meanwhile cook some rice, around 50g per person and make some chapatis. Follow my previous recipe here, omitting the spring onions if you like.
7. Serve with a hot pickle or chutney and soya yoghurt as an additional dip. Indulge and hope your baby comes soon!

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