What would you make with chickpeas and fenugreek?
I’d love to hear your response at the end of this recipe. But I’m going like to share what I’d make.
Chickpeas and fenugreek is curry for me.
Chickpeas can be used in most types of cuisines. Middle Eastern is easy. Spanish is pretty simple, too. But get creative and you can use chickpeas in African, American, Cajun, Chinese. And everything else in between.
When fenugreek is added into the equation, the most obvious cuisine to make is Indian.
The first step was to develop my curry spice mix.
I’ve learned about Indian cuisine over the time Rob and I have been together. One of these bits is this: it’s all about the spices in India.
I’ve never been to India. But I know bits and pieces of information about its culture. India’s a poor country. Instead of relying heavily upon meat and fresh vegetables to give flavor to meals, they rely on an abundance of spices to make food tasty.
I didn’t grow up eating anything close traditional Indian cuisine. My family isn’t big on spices or variety. The most ethnic they ever got was when my well-traveled uncle took my family out to a restaurant called Saffron. There was red chicken and a mango drink. That’s basically all I remember.
Other than that, my mother cooked the same American dishes. Over and over and over again. Casseroles. Pasta. Hot dishes.
When we did eat out, we either went to American restaurants (Applebee’s, The Ground Round, etc.) or Americanized “ethnic” restaurants. And, according to my mother, my father didn’t enjoy Asian cuisine. Most of our ethic restaurants were Mexican that didn’t even serve spicy salsa.
Anyways, back to the spices.
I googled curry spice mix and clicked on the first handful of results. I wanted something complex, but not too complicated. I also didn’t desire to have to substitute spices. We have a mountain of Indian-friendly spices in our cabinet. They were certainly sufficient.
Per usual, I didn’t rely on one recipe for my final spice mix. Instead, I combined Rob’s advice with bits and pieces of various recipes to form our own spice mix.
Next we needed a sauce. Indian food is saucy food in Rob’s book.
Indians tend to use milk as a sauce. But that wasn’t an option wanting the curry to be healthy and vegan.
Instead of dairy-free milk, we used a can of diced tomatoes as the base of the sauce. With a 70-cent can of diced tomatoes at our disposal, it was the easiest and most preferable option available. Coconut, nut and seed milks are too high in fat for our liking. Rice milk would be okay. The downside is that store-bought variety is crazy-expensive compared to homemade rice milk.
And to be honest, Rob and I didn’t want to make rice milk for this one curry.
We stuck with the diced tomatoes. They weren’t exactly authentic, but it was good enough.
Lastly, Rob excitedly figured out what ingredients to put in the curry.
Luckily, we had quite a few ingredients to pick from. Cooked chickpeas left over from a previous night gave us a legume to give the curry bulk. It also gave us nutrition and fiber.
We always have fresh carrots on hand. Rob diced the orange vegetable into small cubes. The carrot added color and important nutrients to the curry. This was going to be a healthy curry after all.
Earlier in the day, Rob had picked a fresh batch of sweet potato leaves from our garden. We’re so happy to have fresh (and free!) greens available to us on a regular basis. They make getting all of the nutrition we need easy and cheap. Needless to say, a few handfuls of chopped sweet potato leaves were destined for the curry, too.
The last prominent ingredient was the frozen cauliflower. We find that frozen vegetables are cheaper and easier to work with than fresh vegetables. They keep for longer and don’t take as much time to cook. Use fresh if you want. You may need to adjust the amount. Frozen cauliflower probably won’t be the same weight volume for volume as fresh.
And we can never forget our lovely garlic and onion. Garlic and onion goes into nearly everything we make. They’re full of flavor and nutrients. Minced and chopped, they became part of the curry, too.
Take a trip to India with this spicy, low-fat curry. A colorful combination of vegetables gets simmered with a delicious assortment of herbs and spices. The result a healthy, saucy Indian curry that you can make anytime you get the craving for take-out.
Vegan and free of added salt, sugar, oil, gluten, soy, nuts and seeds
Reasons to love this recipe: Indian, spicy, saucy, healthy
Curry Spice Mix
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp fenugreek (methi)
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp mustard powder
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 1 curry spice mix (see above)
- 1 onion, diced
- 5 large cloves garlic, diced
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 215 g (1/2 lb) frozen cauliflower, chopped
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 1/2 c sweet potato leaves, chopped (spinach works, too)
- 1 can diced tomatoes (salt free)
- 1 c water
- 2 c cooked chickpeas
Heat large fry pan to high heat. Add the onions and garlic the pan. Sauté the onions and garlic, stirring frequently, between 3-5 minutes. The onions should caramelize and turn a light golden brown.
Next add chili powder, black pepper, fenugreek, ginger and a small amount of liquid to the pan. Toast the spices for a few minutes before adding 1/2 cup water. Cook the mixture for a few more minutes.
Add the carrots, cauliflower, tomatoes, leaves, the other 1/2 cup water and the rest of the spices.
Simmer the mixture for 10 minutes.
Serve with whole wheat sourdough roti or wholegrain rice. Enjoy.
What would you make with chickpeas and fenugreek? Let me know your favorite chickpea and fenugreek combo.