PREP TIME: 10mins COOKING TIME: 40mins

My take on a classic ‘Chana Saag’ with Chana meaning chickpeas (I know a very rough translation for the purist out there) and Saag meaning spinach. This ticks all the boxes for me, this fragrant curry tastes as if you slaved over the stove for hours (you haven’t), it can be thrown together with the majority of the ingredients coming from your cupboard making it QUICK, EASY and CHEAP! My go to recipe if I need nourishment.

 

SERVING SUGGESTION

VEGETARIAN: You could add a bit of grilled paneer to the curry
VEGAN ADD ON: You could easily add some tofu to the curry. I would give the tofu a bit of ‘spice love’ before adding though. Mix some oil with salt, cumin & coriander powder and spread over the pressed tofu, bake in a pre-heated oven on 180, till warmed through.

INGREDIENTS
  • 3 tablespoon coconut or neutral oil *
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds (looks pretty but not essential)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 5 small size cloves of garlic or 3 large peeled (grated or bashed in the P&M)
  • 4cm ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 x 400g tin plum or chopped tomatoes *
  • 2 x 400g tins chickpeas drained *
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes (leave out if heat is not your thing)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 generous teaspoon of salt
  • 400g baby spinach, washed and chopped
  • 2 handfuls of coriander, picked and leaves chopped (opt) *

*see kitchen notes

METHOD
  1. Put the oil into a large lidded pan over a medium heat, add the mustard & cumin seeds , stir for a minute, or until the mustard seeds start to pop (they will pop all over the place so keep the lid on),
  2. Add the onions stir to cover with seeds and oil and leave to sauté gently for about 10-12 minutes. We are looking for what I call CURRY ONIONS *
  3. When the onions are translucent and soft to the touch add the garlic and ginger, stir for about 3 minutes until fragrant, add the tomatoes, fill the empty tin with a third of water and add to the pot.
  4. If you are using plum tomatoes, gently squash these with a wooden spoon.
  5. Cook for 10 minutes until the curry looks quite dry but with a bit of liquid still left, add the chickpeas, warm the chickpeas for a few minutes then add the coriander, chilli, turmeric and salt.
  6. Add the chopped (raw uncooked) spinach, FOLDING the leaves into the warm curry. This might look like way too much spinach the spinach will wilt and shrink fairly quickly into the curry mixture, have faith…
  7. Cook for around 5 minutes, season to perfection and serve along with some rice, roasted veggies or some naan bread.

Serves 4 or 2 with plenty of leftovers

KITCHEN NOTES

Cooking onions is a skill, the sugar that they release with heat makes them quick to burn. When I am referring to Curry Onions I am referring to the way that Indians cook onions, its an art, the finely slice the onions and let them cook on a low to medium heat with some ghee or sunflower oil for a really long time, until the onions are completely falling apart and translucent, they then crack up the heat and let the onions caramelise to a sticky sweet onion delight.

The great thing about being at Leiths is you have all these amazing guest chefs coming to demo at the school. We had amazing chefs come and cook for us including  michelin star Sanjeev Kapoor who talked us through creating amazing Indian dishes as well as Angela Malik who kept on shouting at us ‘yes chef’ she was one scary lady, but her emphasis on the importance of cooking onions stayed with me!

PREP TIME: 10mins COOKING TIME: 40mins

My take on a classic ‘Chana Saag’ with Chana meaning chickpeas (I know a very rough translation for the purist out there) and Saag meaning spinach. This ticks all the boxes for me, this fragrant curry tastes as if you slaved over the stove for hours (you haven’t), it can be thrown together with the majority of the ingredients coming from your cupboard making it QUICK, EASY and CHEAP! My go to recipe if I need nourishment.

 

SERVING SUGGESTION

VEGETARIAN: You could add a bit of grilled paneer to the curry
VEGAN ADD ON: You could easily add some tofu to the curry. I would give the tofu a bit of ‘spice love’ before adding though. Mix some oil with salt, cumin & coriander powder and spread over the pressed tofu, bake in a pre-heated oven on 180, till warmed through.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoon coconut or neutral oil *
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds (looks pretty but not essential)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 5 small size cloves of garlic or 3 large peeled (grated or bashed in the P&M)
  • 4cm ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 x 400g tin plum or chopped tomatoes *
  • 2 x 400g tins chickpeas drained *
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes (leave out if heat is not your thing)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 generous teaspoon of salt
  • 400g baby spinach, washed and chopped
  • 2 handfuls of coriander, picked and leaves chopped (opt) *

*see kitchen notes

METHOD

  1. Put the oil into a large lidded pan over a medium heat, add the mustard & cumin seeds , stir for a minute, or until the mustard seeds start to pop (they will pop all over the place so keep the lid on),
  2. Add the onions stir to cover with seeds and oil and leave to sauté gently for about 10-12 minutes. We are looking for what I call CURRY ONIONS *
  3. When the onions are translucent and soft to the touch add the garlic and ginger, stir for about 3 minutes until fragrant, add the tomatoes, fill the empty tin with a third of water and add to the pot.
  4. If you are using plum tomatoes, gently squash these with a wooden spoon.
  5. Cook for 10 minutes until the curry looks quite dry but with a bit of liquid still left, add the chickpeas, warm the chickpeas for a few minutes then add the coriander, chilli, turmeric and salt.
  6. Add the chopped (raw uncooked) spinach, FOLDING the leaves into the warm curry. This might look like way too much spinach the spinach will wilt and shrink fairly quickly into the curry mixture, have faith…
  7. Cook for around 5 minutes, season to perfection and serve along with some rice, roasted veggies or some naan bread.

Serves 4 or 2 with plenty of leftovers

KITCHEN NOTES

Cooking onions is a skill, the sugar that they release with heat makes them quick to burn. When I am referring to Curry Onions I am referring to the way that Indians cook onions, its an art, the finely slice the onions and let them cook on a low to medium heat with some ghee or sunflower oil for a really long time, until the onions are completely falling apart and translucent, they then crack up the heat and let the onions caramelise to a sticky sweet onion delight.

KITCHEN STORY

The great thing about being at Leiths is you have all these amazing guest chefs coming to demo at the school. We had amazing chefs come and cook for us including  michelin star Sanjeev Kapoor who talked us through creating amazing Indian dishes as well as Angela Malik who kept on shouting at us ‘yes chef’ she was one scary lady, but her emphasis on the importance of cooking onions stayed with me!