Organisation - February 3, 2010

Love is a veggie curry

PhD student Annet Hoek's research into 'fake meat' made the papers, from Trouw to De Telegraaf. It turns out that veggie burgers and other forms of 'fake meat' are bought mainly by vegetarians. These products cannot entice real carnivores to have a day without meat.

Veggie curry
That is a pity for them because going without meat on a regular basis is very 2010. Fortunately, I know from experience that you don't need veggie burgers for that. We will leave the researchers to work on trying to convert mealworms and soya beans into something appetizing while we enjoy this vegetarian Balti curry. This recipe is so delicious that you won't notice the lack of meat. Serve it with a lassi made with rosewater and you've got something good enough for Valentine's Day.

BALTI CURRY WITH SPINACH AND CHICKPEAS
Preparation time: 60 minutes
Ingredients for four people

The Balti sauce
3 tbsp vegetable oil
4 onions, finely chopped
1cm 3 fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp chilli powder
salt to taste
1 handful of chopped fresh coriander

The curry
200g frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
1 tin (425g) of chickpeas
2 small potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 tsp turmeric
4 tbsp vegetable oil
2cm 3 fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp green pepper, chopped in cubes
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 handfuls of chopped fresh coriander
4-6 ladles of Balti sauce (see sauce)

1. First prepare the sauce. Heat the oil in a casserole over a medium flame and fry the onions with the ginger and garlic until the onions are transparent. Add the tomato and fry it, pressing it down with the spoon to break it up a bit. Add 300 ml of water and the remaining ingredients. Bring to the boil. Turn the heat to low, cover and leave to simmer for 30 minutes. Put the mixture in a blender and puree it.
2. While the sauce is simmering, cook the potatoes in water with the salt and turmeric added until they are nearly done. Drain them and put them aside. Let the chickpeas drain.
3. Heat the oil in a wok over a high flame. Add the ginger, garlic and spinach. Fry briefly, stirring well. Add the salt and pepper and fry together briefly. Add the potatoes; break them up a little while they are frying. Now add the tomato puree, chickpeas, tomatoes, fresh coriander and 4-6 soup ladles of the Balti sauce. Shake the wok and stir vigorously for 3-4 minutes. Add more sauce if the mixture seems too dry. Dish up into 4 bowls and serve with naan bread. 

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