Braised Coconut, Spinach and Chickpeas with Lemon

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braised coconut spinach and chickpeas with lemon

Leisurely scrolling through my favorite food blogs one evening, this dish at Dinner with Julie attacked my curry-loving taste buds, and with Carnivore Rob gone for the evening I knew the time was right for a vegetarian meal. The delicious smells wafting through the kitchen was the only excuse I needed to put on my PJ’s, pour a glass of wine and enjoy a relaxing dinner for one. The lonely shriveled lime in my fridge drawer was going to have to suffice as I was already in my pajamas and there was no way I was running back to the market for another ingredient. (Owning a food store means that my slipper-clad feet often sneak into the market after hours to retrieve a forgotten ingredient!  Believe me, it’s happened more than once.) The juice that I managed to coax out of the lime was enough citrus flavor for me, so I would go easy on the lemon juice the next time I make it. In my opinion, the only curry powder worth it’s weight in gold is Monsoon Coast‘s Moghul Curry, produced on Salt Spring Island and can be found in our market. The recipe says it serves 4, but that would only be appetizer sized portions. I have just enough left over for Friday night, when Rob heads to the ranch for weaning day.

Ingredients

1 Tbsp canola oil, for cooking
1 small onion, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 tsp. curry paste or powder (optional)
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (or a handful of grape tomatoes, halved)

zest of half a lemon, and juice of all of it
pinch red pepper flakes
1 19 oz (540 mL) can chickpeas, drained well
a big handful of spinach, torn
1/2-1 14 oz (398 mL) can coconut milk
1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste

Method
  1. Preheat your oven to 400F. Wash the sweet potatoes and poke them a few times with a fork. Bake directly on the oven rack for 45 minutes to an hour, or until soft.
  2. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat and cook the onion for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic, ginger, curry paste or powder and chili powder and cook for another minute or two. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, lemon zest and juice and red chili flakes; cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add the chickpeas and cook over high heat for a few minutes or until the chickpeas are beginning to turn golden and they’re coated with the onion and garlic mixture. Add the spinach and cook until it wilts; add the coconut milk, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until the mixture thickens. Add the salt and cook until it’s as thick or saucy as you like, adding more coconut milk as needed.
  4. Serve hot over split roasted sweet potatoes, with cilantro and toasted coconut sprinkled on top.

Recipe adapted from TheKitchn.