I've been getting really into vegetarian curries recently. They're pretty healthy but the spices make them interesting and they can be jazzed up anyway you like. This is a cheat's version - its very quick and easy as it uses ready-made curry paste. It should really be a korma, as it has coconut milk in, but I like to spice it up with madras paste.
Saffron is pretty expensive stuff, but you only need a pinch for this recipe so I think it's worth splashing out on. And there's something very decadent about putting a substance that's worth more by the kilo than gold into a weekday dinner...
Chickpea and Cashew Madras with Saffron Rice (serves 4)
- 200g basmati rice
- 5 curry leaves
- A pinch of saffron
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1tbsp Madras curry paste (I like Patak's)
- 200ml coconut milk
- 1 tin of chickpeas, drained
- 200g spinach, washed
- 100g plain cashew nuts
- First, get the saffron rice ready. Rinse the rice and add it to a saucepan with the curry leaves, saffron and a pinch of salt. Add water until the rice is covered by about 1cm.
- Bring the water to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 8 minutes. Now take it off the heat, cover with a clean tea towel and put the lid on. Leave it while you make the curry, and don't take the lid off to check until the end or you'll let all the lovely steam out and stop it cooking.
- Heat 1tbsp oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and sweat it gently until it's soft and translucent. This should take around 8 minutes
- Add the curry paste and cook for a couple of minutes until fragrant.
- Add the coconut milk, give it a stir and bring the mixture up to a simmer.
- Add the chickpeas, spinach and cashews. Simmer for five minutes.
- Add salt to taste. Check the rice - it should be done by now. Serve it up!