Chickpea and Veggie Madras

It’s been a while since I’ve made a takeaway style curry, so I was looking forward to trying out a vegetarian madras last week – if you’ve read for a while, you’ll know how much I love a good curry!

I used More Takeaway Secrets by Kenneth McGowan for inspiration and to check the spices required, but didn’t follow his method. I’d recommend checking it out though – he batch cooks a base gravy which can be frozen turned into a number of different curries on the night – a really sensible idea. Since I’m trying to clear out the freezer, I just made enough for this dinner.

The sauce made a really nice curry with chickpeas, sliced, fried mushrooms and the leftovers from an open can of sweetcorn added, but you can add anything you want – diced cooked chicken, prawns, wilted spinach, roasted cauliflower, red peppers, tofu or paneer would all work nicely. Curries tend to be great for using up any odds and ends – I just make sure I cook everything first (except really quick cooking things like frozen peas/sweetcorn) and add it all in near the end.

Oh, sorry about the picture tonight – I made this in advance and wolfed it down at 9pm on Friday evening after working late in the freezing rain outdoors.  I was in no mood to faff about with the lighting or anything though I do regret it now.  Side note – if anyone wants to buy me a decent camera I’d be very happy… normally I like the ease of taking and editing pics on my iPhone but pics like the below just remind me that it’s not in any way a professional camera!  Dark picture aside, I can assure you this curry is way tastier than it looks.

madras curry 2 header

Serves two generously

For the curry sauce

  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 dried red chilli (if you don’t have the whole ones – and if you do, be warned they are hot – substitute with 1/4-1/2 tsp crushed chillies, depending on heat preference)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • small half-thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 1 tsp Madras curry powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste or juice of 1/4 lemon

Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion and carrot, frying over a medium heat until the onions begin to brown.  Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute.

Add the chopped tomatoes, all the spices, the dried red chilli and enough water to just cover the veg.  Leave to simmer for around half an hour, stirring as required, until everything has softened and is well combined.

Take off the heat and blitz well with a hand-blender, until the sauce reaches a smooth consistency, adding a little more water if required.  You can now freeze the sauce or else add whatever meat or veg you want.

For my curry, gently fry the sliced mushrooms in the oil in another pan, then add to the sauce when wilted.  Add the chickpeas and sweetcorn and heat through for a few minutes.  Serve with rice and/or naan bread.


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