Creamy Peanut Butter Chickpea & Squash Curry

Creamy Chickpea Peanut Butter Curry

Though I embrace nearly every legume with open arms and a hungry tummy, my pantry being a concrete overflowing testament to that statement, if I absolutely had to choose a favorite, say a desert island essential, I would say buttery soft, plump, and infinitely versatile chickpeas are always a consideration when it comes to meal planning.

Spice them up, mash them up, make them into hummus, little bites, even desserts, one of my latest experiments was a fusion-style dish that also features peanut butter for extra protein and legume goodness.

If you haven't used peanut butter in a savory dish before, you are missing out. The texture, creaminess and protein count is unmatched. Squash fills things out nicely here, and not to be missed are the spices, red pepper and sprinkling of fresh cilantro and zesty lime.
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas (3 cups cooked or 2 14 oz cans)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1-inch fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2 green or red chilies, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame or other cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced
  • 1 1/4 cup acorn squash, diced
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • juice from 1 lime (2 tablespoons)
  • small handful of cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sea sal or to taste
  • fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Instructions:
  • Rinse the chickpeas and soak in several inches of water for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a medium saucepan and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until soft — 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • While the beans are boiling, combine the onion, garlic, ginger and chilies in a small blender or food processor and process with a few tablespoons of water to make a thick paste.
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and cayenne. Stir for 1 minute until fragrant. Stir in the onion and ginger paste and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Now stir in the tomatoes and simmer for another few minutes to thicken.
  • Whisk in the coconut milk, water and peanut butter until smooth. Stir in the carrot and squash, sugar if using, chickpeas and garam masala. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover. Simmer for 5 minutes. Mix in the red pepper, cover, and simmer for another 5 minutes or until the curry has thickened and the vegetables are tender. Add more water if necessary to achieve your desired consistency.
  • Stir in the lime juice, cilantro if using, salt and pepper. Simmer for another few minutes and then turn off the heat.
  • Serve hot with fresh cooked white rice or other cooked grains such as millet or brown rice.

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