Firstly, thanks so much for your enthusiasm on my last post! I was really worried I'd never feel the urge to return to this space, but I'm so glad I have. It feels great to be home...
Speaking of home, I've seen a lot of it over the past week as my youngest was taken down with the yucky flu doing the rounds in our town. All the plans I had for my last week (of freedom!) before the school holidays were put on hold and we barely left the house, except to drop Ada at school. Life gets so incredibly simple when you're sick (or your kids, in this case). Meals become more about nourishment than anything else and afternoon naps are welcomed, after longs nights of fever-induced delirium.
We do our grocery shopping in Hamilton (the city 45 minutes drive away), usually on a weekly or fortnightly basis, but Kye's sickness caught me off-hand and it had been many weeks between shops. The cupboards were getting bare, so when we got to mid-week I managed to zoom into town after Si returned from work, to do a quick food run. Before racing out the door I threw together this simple curry for mine + Ada's dinner (the boys ate chicken), using up the last few ingredients in our fridge. A block of paneer, a jar of leftover cooked chickpeas and half a jar of passata that had been kicking around for far too long.
It was super lovely to come home to a steaming hot bowl of this, with rice and a generous handful of coriander from the garden. I loved it so much that I thought it'd be crazy not to share and had just enough leftovers the following day to take a quick few shots. I hope you're all staying warm and well. Kye's now well and truly on the mend, just as his sister has been struck down by the same dreaded flu... wish me luck!
Chickpea + paneer curry
I use Gopala paneer mostly, as it's the easiest to find. But you can also make your own if you have a little time and lots of fresh milk. There was a time when we couldn't handle any dairy other than ghee/butter/yoghurt. If you don't tolerate paneer, replace it with tofu or simply increase the amount of chickpeas to 2 cups. We always have a salad with our dinner, but if you'd like to add vegetables to this curry, simple cut them little and add with the passata and cook until tender. Adding chickpea flour to the yoghurt before adding it to the curry prevents the yoghurt from splitting. If you don't have chickpea flour it's not the end of the world, you might just see flecks of yoghurt in the sauce instead of it being smooth, but the taste is not affected.
Serves 3-4 with rice
2 tablespoons ghee (or olive oil/butter)
1 onion, finely sliced
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
1 1/4 cups passata (tomato puree)
1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cinnamon, ground turmeric, garam masala
1/2 cup water, or more as needed
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2-1 teaspoon unrefined raw sugar, optional
1 block paneer, cubed
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup plain yoghurt mixed with 1 teaspoon chickpea flour
Cooked basmati rice + roughly chopped coriander, to serve
Heat ghee in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and cook 5-8 minutes, stirring often until golden and tender. Add garlic and ginger and cook for a further 1 minute, until fragrant.
Add passata, spices, water, salt and sugar, bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, stirring often.
Add paneer, chickpeas and yoghurt mixed with chickpea flour, stir well and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add a touch more water if needed and adjust seasoning if desired.
Serve hot with basmati and chopped coriander.