‘Tis the season for 20-minute dinners. Sometimes that means raiding the pantry for a crowd-pleasing 5 Minute Taco Bowl. (Five minutes makes you a total overachiever in the 20 minute dinner game, by the way.) Sometimes it means swinging by the Whole Foods prepared foods aisle for a dinner of I Want Sushi, You Want Indian, She’s Having Mac and Cheese, But Mom Can I Get Soup. The tagline for that aisle should be, “The Food’s Prepared So You Don’t Have to Be.” And sometimes maybe you’ve had a chance to breathe for a minute or take a sip of wine, and you want something warm and comforting and nourishing that still takes hardly any time or effort. That’s where I was one evening last week, and we had this quick Indian spinach and chickpea curry.
To be fair, as is usually the case when I borrow flavors and techniques from various countries, I think it’s a little bold to call this dish “Indian” without any qualifiers. It incorporates lots of the spices found in Indian cuisine — ginger and turmeric, garam masala, brown mustard seeds — but I wouldn’t exactly tie it to a particular region. I’d call it Indian-ish curry-ish, but that’s hard to spell, so.
Let’s just eat it and not ask too many questions, shall we? I think you’ll be glad.
Happy Monday. See you soon.
Quick Indian Spinach and Chickpea Curry
It amazes me that a dish so full of flavor can be ready in 20 minutes. Cook some white basmati rice at the same time if you like -- it should be ready in a similar timeframe. If you can't find fresh turmeric, substitute a scant 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric. To make it vegan, you can omit the cream or substitute cashew cream.
- 2 tablepsoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
- 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1-inch piece fresh turmeric, peeled and minced
- 1/2 teaspoon brown/black mustard seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 pound baby spinach leaves
- 2 15.5-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- Pinch ground cayenne
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper