When I was in college I had the opportunity to study abroad (twice) in London. Before going all I heard was how horrible British food was. To be honest I was a little nervous about what I was going to eat for 6 months. But come on what could be better than fish and chips, scones, biscuits (aka cookies), and bitter (aka beer) ?! The US has no idea how to make these items the way they do in the UK, yum…. But I digress. I have to admit that yes some of the food was a little… different. The breakfast is something I do not miss, baked beans is just not my style at 8:00am. But one type of food did reign supreme in my opinion, Indian food. This is something I had never tasted before and it might as well be England’s national cuisine because it is extremely prevalent as it was brought to the country through their colony of India. (what a good move bringing that to the mainland)
Now, years after my amazing experience in London, I stumbled across this recipe and fell in love again. It had enough heat to make it worth it but the spice does not over power the flavors of the tomato, spinach, and chickpeas. I served this with naan (the best bread ever) and rice. It was even better the next day as the flavors really marinated.
Indian Chickpeas and Spinach in a Tomato Cream Sauce
Adapted from Savory Safari
Yield: 4 side servings or 2-3 entrees
2 cans chickpeas, drained & rinsed
5 oz fresh spinach
1 ½ c. tomato sauce
1/3 c whipping cream, at room temperature
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
½ tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp Asian chili garlic sauce
1/2 tsp curry powder
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp masala
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook 2-3 minutes. Add chickpeas and toast, stirring frequently, for another 2 minutes or so.
Add tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Stir in all remaining spices and check seasoning, adding more of your favorite spices if desired.
Whisk in cream and return to a gentle simmer, stirring frequently.
Begin adding spinach in batches. Once all spinach is added, turn the heat down very low and cover. Simmer 5 minutes covered, and hold warm until ready to serve.
I have also tried this in the slow cooker. I just put all ingredients in except the cream, cooked on high for 1-2 hours (until all ingredients were hot and flavors combined), added the cream and turned the heat to low and cooked for another 30 minutes or so.