Curiously Confusing Jamaican Chickpea Curry with Perky Paneer Cheese and Silky Spinach

Jamaican chickpea curry

This is one hell of a confused dish. A fusion of nationalities perfectly blended together, sometimes some of the best dishes come out of mistakes and adaptation. Can be served as the main meal with breads or rice or as a side dish to accompany your favourite curry. This Gluten-free vegetarian/vegan dish (if you remove the cheese). It is very versatile and could even be made with the addition of tofu for extra protein or of course chicken for meat eaters.

INGREDIENTS

1 teaspoon of rapeseed or vegetable oil

1 medium onion finely chopped

4 cloves of garlic crushed

2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme

1 teaspoon of ground Allspice

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1.5 teaspoons smoked paprika

3.5 tablespoons of Jamaican curry powder or as in my case Japanese curry powder used by mistake but the results were delicious

1 teaspoon of ground cumin

1 teaspoon of white pepper

1 medium sweet potato or white potato cut into small cubes

200 ml of chicken or vegetable stock

2 to 3 spring onions chopped

1 large jar of chickpeas or 2 cans

100 g of Paneer cheese or halloumi cheese

half a large bag of fresh spinach or a few bowls of frozen

½ tin of half fat coconut milk

Half of a small bunch of fresh coriander

1 Scotch bonnet chilli or chilli of choice.

 

METHOD

Heat the oil over a medium high heat and add the onion and fry for a couple of minutes before adding the garlic, allspice, nutmeg, cumin, white pepper, thyme and paprika.

Fry gently for a few minutes to soften the onions and release the flavours of the spices.

Add the potatoes to the pan and sauté for a few minutes.

Add the chickpeas and the paneer cheese and loosen with a bit of stock to stop it sticking to the pan.

Add the spring onions and curry powder and fry for a minute or so before adding the coconut milk and remaining stock.

Prick the Scotch bonnet chilli with the sharp end of a knife and put it into the curry, this will impart some of the flavour of the chilli without the heat.

Allow the curry to simmer for about 20 minutes until reduced to your preferred consistency.

Just before the end of the cooking time add the spinach and then cover with a lid to allow the spinach to wilt.

Season to taste, if it is not spicy enough for your taste, remove the Scotch bonnet and slice it finely discarding the seeds and add the flesh back to the pan. Of course if you like it hot hot hot throw in the seeds as well and get ready to sweat!

Remove from the heat and tear in the coriander.

Serve with wholemeal tortilla wrap or naan bread or rice if desired.

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