This creamy, coconutty vegetable curry with chickpeas is one of my simple go-to dinners. You can use whatever veggies you have in the fridge, so it’s a great way to use up excess, or if you’re just not sure what to do for dinner!
The chickpeas add a bit of protein to the dish, without the need for meat or fish. There’s extra calcium from the anchovies (any edible fish bones are packed with calcium). And it’s nice to have an easy dinner that can be whipped up in one pan in minutes!
I serve it with either brown rice or quinoa and a handful of fresh coriander, if I have it. Sometimes I serve it as a side dish with some crispy skin salmon or lamb chops.
It’s lovely and rich from the coconut cream and full of good fats, which we need for healthy skin and to protect our gut and airways, making them less prone to infections. Fats are also great for your mood and to give you extra energy, especially if you’re choosing lower carbs to maintain or lose weight.
Vegetable chickpea curry
Gluten free Dairy free Low citric acid / amines / glutamates
1 400g can chickpeas, rinsed well
1 400mL can coconut cream
4 anchovies (whole fillets, straight out of the jar)
1 onion, 1/2 leek or a few spring onions
2 small or 1 large carrot
4 cups mixed vegetables (capsicum, zucchini, bok choy, cabbage, broccoli etc.)
1 clove garlic (optional)
1 x 2cm knob fresh ginger (or a few shakes of dried ginger)
1 tsp dried turmeric (or use fresh if you have it)
a few grinds of black pepper (to help make turmeric more bioavailable)
1 tsp oil (coconut or olive – also essential for bioavailability of turmeric)
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp tamari (wheat-free soy sauce, or if soy free, 2 large pinches of salt)
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Fry onion and anchovies in oil until soft. Add ginger, garlic, turmeric, pepper and stir fry for a minute till fragrant. Add you veggies, chickpeas, sauces, coconut cream and stir, then put the lid of and simmer on low for 5-10 minutes until veggies are just cooked but still firm. Add any green leafy veggies at the end and stir through till wilted.
Serve with 1/4 cup cooked brown rice or quinoa. Brown rice should be soaked for a few hours or the whole day (if you remember!) in water with a dash of vinegar. This will help breakdown enzymes that stop us absorbing all the goodness. And cook it in lots of water, then rinse thoroughly after cooking to get rid of any arsenic, which can contaminant some rice. Quinoa should be rinsed really well before cooking to get rid of saponins, which are another form of anti-nutrient. Cook in 1/2 – 2x water to quinoa, for 12 minutes – don’t overcook or it becomes gluggy (i’ve learnt the hard way!)
If you’ve going low carb, serve with a small piece of fish or meat for extra protein, rather than rice or quinoa.
Finish with a fresh handful of coriander. Enjoy!