Slow Cooker Chickpea Curry

The perfect weeknight dinner, great for meat free Monday.

Curries are all about balance. The sauce itself, while not spicy, is rich and fragrant so calls for something light, fresh or sweet to join it on the plate. I served this one with roast sweet potatoes, aubergines and a rough chutney of chopped mango, lime and coriander.

Ingredients

75g pearl shallots

1 red chili

thumb sized piece ginger

thumb sized piece galangal (just use more ginger if you can’t find it)

3 cloves garlic

2 stalks lemongrass, tough outer layers removed

2 tbsp sunflower or other neutral flavoured oil

1 tbsp each ground cumin, coriander, fennel

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp chili powder

1 400g tin tomatoes

1 400g tin coconut milk

1.5 litres water

200g dried chickpeas

baby spinach

In a food processor blitz the shallots, chili, ginger, galangal, garlic and lemongrass until you have a paste. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan and fry the paste until darkened and sticky, about ten minutes. Add the spices and cook for a further 2 – 3 minutes. Add the tinned tomatoes and coconut milk, then move into the bowl of your slow cooker. Add the chickpeas and cook on high for 4 – 5 hours. Cooking time will depend on your slow cooker and if you soak the chickpeas first. I let mine soak in the same liquid I cooked them in overnight.

Before you serve stir through the baby spinach and season to taste. Serve with accoutrements of your choice.

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