Warming and flavourful vegan curry.
This curry recipe does require a small amount of pre-prep and takes just over an hour to make, but I promise it is worth the extra time when it all comes together in a tasty, spicy dish. It's the perfect time of year to have warming food, while the lentils and chickpeas make this curry hearty and full of protein.
You can choose any winter squash you like, this recipe works equally well with butternut squash, pumpkin or a root vegetable such as sweet potato. All of these alternatives will add a sweeter flavour to the final curry and with squash, you can save the seeds to be roasted and sprinkled on top to reduce food waste.
What you need:
Makes 4 portions
Ingredients from Earthian Zero Waste Shop:
300g Organic Jasmine Rice - £0.90
200g Organic Chickpeas - £0.60
300g Organic Green Lentils - £0.90
1/2 teaspoon Organic Chilli Powder - £0.14
1 teaspoon Organic Coriander Powder - £0.20
1 teaspoon Organic Cumin Powder - £0.31
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder - £0.29
1 teaspoon Onion Powder - £0.32
1 teaspoon Turmeric - £0.21
1/2 teaspoon Black Peppercorns - £0.10
Total from Earthian = £3.89 (approximately)
Ingredients from elsewhere/your kitchen cupboards:
A medium sized squash (and/or seasonal veggies of your choice!) - Usually a butternut squash is around £1.73 and can be bought loose without packaging
1 Onion - Usually around £0.65
1 Courgette - Usually around £0.50
A tin of coconut milk - Usually around £1.00 and the tin is fully recyclable
2 tablespoons of cooking oil
Approximate cost in total = £7.85
Cost per portion if feeding 4 = £1.96
The night before making your curry, pop the dried chickpeas in a covered pot or bowl with enough water so that they are completely covered with about an inch of water above. Soaking overnight has a few benefits, I've written a blog on cooking beans and chickpeas from dried, please do take a look for some handy tips.
You can soak the lentils at the same time, if you'd like to. This will help reduce the gas producing sugars in lentils. However, lentils don't take long to cook so soaking won't help to reduce the overall cooking time so I tend to not worry about pre-soaking lentils.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
Drain and rinse your pre-soaked chickpeas. Put them in a pan with your green lentils, all the listed spices and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add three or four cups of water, let this bubble away on a medium heat.
Your chickpeas and lentils will need at least an hour to cook so you can prepare the other bits at the same time. Keep an eye on the water level, we do want it to reduce down and thicken up but don't let it go completely dry as this is the base for the sauce later.
Coat the squash with 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of your chosen cooking oil, a pinch of salt . Place evenly on a baking tray and put it on the middle shelf of the pre-heated oven.
Coat the squash with 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of your chosen cooking oil, a pinch of salt and a pinch of ground black peppercorns. Place evenly on a baking tray and place it on the middle shelf of the pre-heated oven.
The cubes will need around 20 minutes to cook. When they're golden brown, turn off the oven and let them sit while you make a start on the other parts of the curry.
Your chickpeas and lentils will be over halfway through cooking at this point, check the water level and test for softness.
Put your jasmine rice on to cook. You will need about 1 and 1/2 cups of water for each cup of rice and it will take about 15mins and should be ready at the same time as the rest of the curry.
Dice the onion and the courgette, put these in a pan with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil and let them gently soften, stirring occasionally.
Once cooked, put your onion and courgette, and the tin of coconut milk into the pan with the now cooked chickpeas and lentils. Mix everything together and let all the ingredients heat through.
When it starts to bubble add your roasted squash or other winter vegetables and fold these gently into the curry trying not to break the cubes up too much.
Let this sit on a medium heat for another 5 minutes.
If you have seeds from the squash, this is a good time to rinse the pulp off and add them to the baking tray with some oil and put them back in the oven for the last 5 minutes of cooking time so that they go golden brown.
Serve next to the jasmine rice with a sprinkle of toasted squash seed on top and voila!
Let me know if you try this recipe and what you think of it! I'm still learning how to write them up and for them to actually make sense to other people following it. I'm usually a bit hap-dash in the kitchen so your feedback would be greatly appreciated. I'd like to do more recipes and add them to the blog in the future.
The main reason for wanting to share recipes is to show that eating well, and eating organic doesn't need to be expensive. This curry is very filling and satisfying for only £1.96 per serving when feeding 4 people, and it is easy to size up or down depending on the size of your household.
Earthian Zero Waste Shop is here to help you reduce your plastic packaging at home, but I also wanted to provide good, healthy food at a reasonable and accessible price. I look forward to growing the range to include more cupboard staples and maybe even some fresh foods too in the future.
Take care everyone!