Saturday, 9 April 2016

Chana Masala - Chickpea and Aubergine Curry

Chana masala is something that I discovered here in London. Since their is a big South Asian population here, a hot curry isn't too hard to find - but a good one can be!

Our local Indian takeaway isn't exactly fine dining, however they make the best chana masala - and I think it's because there is so much ghee/oil used, but ohh so good. Also that fact that these curries have been cooking for hours makes them even better!

This recipe is a combination of my two favourite curries from our local - chickpea curry and aubergine (eggplant) curry. I always order both on rice which comes to about £12 which I find a little pricey, but well worth it.

For a good veg curry I've learnt two great tips - the longer you cook it the better and always mash a few chickpeas/potatoes to help thicken the gravy. Curries do take a while to make sure to set enough time, if you have a slower cooker, boy o boy that would make it perfect. I wish had one!

Chickpea and Aubergine Curry

2 -3 tablespoons of oil - coconut oil preferably
1 large onion diced
3 cloves of good garlic sliced
1 thumb of ginger diced

2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons paprika powder
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Chill power to taste
*If you can't be bothered with all those spices, find a good quality pre mixed curry powder or spice mix that has most of these spices, but do get whole cumin seeds!

1 can of chopped tomatoes in juice
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 can of cooked chickpeas
2 large cooked potatoes diced
1 aubergine sliced in to battons
1-2 tablespoons dairy free butter or coconut oil
Salt and cracked pepper to finish

1. On a medium high heat fry onion, garlic and ginger till soft (don't be shy with the oil).

2. Next add in the spices. Cook until cumin seeds pop and the spices become fragrant. Set pan aside.

3. In another pan fry aubergine in a little oil. Add in a few tablespoons of water each time to help with cooking. Aubergine is best served when it is super soft and gooey, cook it well before this point.

4. Add aubergine, potatoes and chickpeas to the spice mix, sauté for 2 minutes then add chopped tomatoes and tomato paste.

5. Leave to simmer till potatoes and chickpeas are soft, about 30-60minutes, adding extra water if you need to.
Mash at least a quarter of the potatoes and chickpeas with the back of a fork to help with thickening. Season with salt and chilli powder to taste.

6. Finish of with cracked pepper and for extra indulgence (optional) stir in 2 tablespoons of dairy free butter or coconut oil.

If you want to cook this a slow cooker follow steps 1-2, then add the lot in your slow cooker.

Good luck and enjoy!

Kim xx

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