Aubergine and chickpea curry with herbed quinoa

It’s the start of the new year, and as always, my resolution is to cook more and eat more healthily. The key to both of these is easy cooking. None of my recipes take long to make, but some of them require a bit of planning and some a lot of chopping, so this year I’m really going to try and come up with recipes where you can throw a bunch of things in your fridge together in less than 30 minutes. This is one of those recipes. I didn’t plan it – I just had a whole lot of veggies in my fridge and some quinoa in my cupboard and I felt like a quick curry. This dish really couldn’t be simpler. If you’ve never made a curry before because you thought it was hard – try this.

Aubergine and chickpea curry with herbed quinoa
Aubergine and chickpea curry with herbed quinoa

Serves 4

  • 250 g courgettes, chopped
  • 2 medium aubergines, chopped into smallish pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 1 tin of chopped, peeled tomatoes
  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 1 heaped tsp hot curry powder
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • A couple of dried curry leaves
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes (if you want the curry spicy)
  • Handful fresh coriander
  • Handful of flaked almonds (optional)
  • Fresh mint and basil (optional)
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • Feta, to crumble on top (optional)

Make the quinoa according to the packet instructions.

Meanwhile, fry the onions (I use coconut oil for frying when making curries – it’s much better than olive oil) and when they’ve softened a bit, add the garlic. Fry for another minute or two and then add all the curry spices and leaves. Mix well and fry until fragrant. Add the aubergine and courgettes and cider vinegar and fry for another five minutes or so (you may want to add a bit more oil at this stage if it’s a bit dry). Pour in the tinned tomato and turn down the heat so it’s simmering. Stir occasionally and add the red pepper and chickpeas after about five minutes. After adding the tinned tomatoes, the curry needs to cook for around 10 – 12 minutes, or until thickened.

Once the quinoa has cooked, squeeze in half a lemon, season with black pepper and chop up some fresh basil and mint if you have it. It’s not essential to add the herbs, but I love herby quinoa and I think they make it a bit more interesting. You only really need a tablespoon or so of each herb. I also love adding almonds to the quinoa for some crunch – mix in a handful or two if you have them.

When the curry is ready, serve it on top of a helping of quinoa with fresh coriander on top. I like crumbling feta over the curry, even though it doesn’t traditionally go with curry. I don’t cook with salt, so I find feta adds a bit of a salty kick to the dish.

Potato and chickpea curry

I made this the other day when some friends came over for dinner. Curries are the best dishes to make when you have to feed a lot of people – just double or triple recipe quantities. It’s also a good idea to make a curry the night before if you’re having people over for dinner, as curries are always better when they’ve had a day or two to stew. This curry is delicious for leftovers – just re-heat and serve with fresh coriander.

I got this recipe from a new favourite cookbook – Quick and easy Asian vegetarian recipes.

potato and chickpea curry

Serves 6 heartily

  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained
  • 6 potatoes, diced
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes (or less, depending on taste)
  • 1 heaped tsp ground tumeric
  • 3 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • Juice of one lime or lemon
  • 2 tsp crushed ginger
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)

Boil the potatoes for about 15 minutes until cooked. Drain and set aside.

Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil or ghee in a wok over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and bay leaves and stir-fry until aromatic. Add the onion and stir-fry on a low heat for 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, ground coriander, cumin, chilli, tumeric, salt, and garam masala and stir fry over a low heat for about 5 minutes.

Add the chickpeas, potatoes and the water. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce becomes thicker.

Remove from the heat and stir in the lime or lemon juice, and the ginger. Serve with fresh coriander and chutney.