Here’s a weird thing about me: I never had Indian food until I met Rob. Not once.
This becomes all the stranger if you know that Rob is a man who never had a spice other than pepper until he was 25. All things considered, it was a weird situation to be in. He with his bland palate upbringing who had grown a fervent fondness towards all things exotic and spicy… and me, with a slight phobia towards anything that reigned from the Eastern Hemisphere.
In my defense, I had heard a lot of people say that Indian food gave them the runs, and that didn’t sound like anything I wanted to deal with….
Nevertheless, he finally coaxed me into going on he and his grad school friends weekly pilgrimage to the Indian buffet. I can’t even say I was blown away from the first bite (maybe I just wanted to make sure I didn’t get the runs first) but I slowly got into my Indian food groove and found things I truly loved. It wasn’t until I started using tumeric at home that my love affair truly began though. And now… well… I have to keep my nails painted lest anyone see my yellow dyed fingernail beds and think I am suffering from some weird nail fungus.
It’s fun to look back on these things in hind-sight. Oh that I was ever a person without a bottle of turmeric in their pantry… the insanity…
I have a lot of different recipes involving curry but I have yet to create a plant based version… this week, I did just that! (totally on accident though, because sometimes I finish making something and realize it’s lacking in the animal department… but that’s fine I mean I don’t need to eat meat with EVERY meal)
Besides, I’ve recently decided that chickpeas can do anything. Like, have you guys tried chickpea pasta? Go do it now. Before you make this. Before you do anything else. Chickpea pasta. Game changer.
And now, without further adieu…
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp red curry paste (if you like it more mild, you can use red pepper paste)
- 21 oz chickpeas (that’s about a can and a half of the regular sized cans, or one big one)
- 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 c applesauce
- 2 tbsp yellow curry powder
- 1/2 can full fat coconut milk (or a whole can if you like it creamier, you’ll just want to reduce it for longer)
- Heat a large skillet on med-high heat and add a tbsp of coconut oil
- Add in the onion, pepper, garlic, and curry paste. Stir the curry paste in with the veggies so it caramelizes with them and saute everything until the onions become translucent and the peppers get brown around the edges.
- Add in the chickpeas, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, applesauce, and curry powder, and stir.
- Once everything comes back up to a “boil” (it will be more like a sputter), turn the heat down to low, add in the coconut milk, and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes
I don’t have a good naan bread recipe, or I’d share that as well because what’s a good curry without a piece on naan for dipping. Here’s a fantasy of mine: eating a whole bowl of curry without using a spoon once. Just a ton of naan.
Well now that I’ve disapointed everyone with my lack of naan bread… I’ll recommend you serve it over cauliflower rice (since grains are SO last year, right?) but really it’s just cause it’s delicious and a great way to get in more veggies. Bonus: it doesn’t take as long to cook. Oh the problems I could’ve solved waiting for rice to cook….
Garnish with cilantro if you’re one of those people who doesn’t have cursed tastebuds that make cilantro taste like soap… what a life to live… sheesh!