This is the stuff I grew up on. It never fails to surprise me how the humble combination of pulses, spice and veg can be so moreish. I find myself turning to this, at least once a week. With parathas, on toast, with kitchuri and fridge cold from the pan with a dollop of yoghurt while waiting for the kettle to boil. Adding leeks and cabbage to a traditional tomato and chickpea curry makes for a healthy, cheap and utterly delicious treat (just remember to soak the chickpeas the night before you want to start- or if you can’t be bothered crack open some tinned ones instead).
a knob of ghee/ butter + a splash of oil
1 chopped onion
2 small leeks, finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 knob ginger, grated
1 heaped tsp. cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
3 green cardamom pods
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. curry powder
1 fresh green finger chilli finely chopped
1 400g tin tomatoes
400ml chicken stock
200g soaked drained, boiled chickpeas
20g tamarind cut from a block
1 tsp. sugar
1-2 handfuls of finely shredded spring cabbage (or any greens)
melt the butter/ghee and splash of oil. When it’s hot add the cumin seeds, onion, garlic, ginger and leeks. Stir in the turmeric, curry powder, fresh chilli, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick. Cook over a low heat until you’re left with a spicy tangle of green and gold (usually around 15-20 minutes)
Tip in the chickpeas, chicken stock, tomatoes, tamarind sugar and salt.
Simmer for 30 minutes. Fish out the cinnamon stick, tamarind and cardamom pods.
5 minutes before serving add the shredded cabbage and simmer until just tender.