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Recipe Of the Month: - Spinach, chickpea and potato curry by Martin Lingard

This was one of my favourite things to order at a Jamaican restaurant I used to go to when I lived in Coventry. Iíve missed eating it since I came up here so Iíve recreated it myself, by trial and error. This is the closest Iíve got and Iím pleased with how it has come out. It should be served with a Jamaican roti flatbread but I cheat and buy ready made naan breads from the supermarket. This is cheap, healthy, filling and vegan if you use the coconut milk option rather than the single cream. The turmeric, cumin, coriander, allspice, cayenne, fenugreek and cayenne can be substituted with 3 tablespoons of a mild curry powder if necessary. This feeds 4 people well.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons of groundnut oil 1 large onion, finely chopped 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 Scotch bonnet chilli, halved (if you donít like hot spice, remove the seeds or use half a teaspoon of dried chilli flakes) 1 bunch of spring onions, finely chopped 1 small bunch of fresh thyme, 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger Ĺ teaspoon of turmeric powder 1teaspoon of ground cumin, 1 teaspoon of ground coriander, 12 whole allspice berries (or 1 teaspoon of ground allspice), Ĺ teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper, Ĺ teaspoon of fenugreek powder, 1 x 400g tin of plum tomatoes, 2 x 400g tins of chickpeas, 600g potatoes, peeled, diced, rinsed and drained 500g of frozen chopped spinach, boiled and drained 0.5 litre vegetable stock, 400ml coconut milk (or single cream) Salt

Method
Take a large stovetop pot with a well fitting lid, place over a medium heat, add the oil and chuck in your onions. Soften for several minutes, stirring frequently and turning the heat down to low before they start to brown.

Add your garlic and stir as it softens for another minute or two. Now add your Scotch bonnet chilli, spring onions, thyme, ginger and turmeric, cumin, coriander, allspice berries, keep stirring for another minute or so, adding a splash or two of water if the spices start to stick to the bottom of your pot.

Now lob in your tomatoes, chickpeas, potatoes, spinach, stock and cream. Turn up the heat, bring to a gentle simmer, pop on a lid, reduce the heat and leave to simmer for a good 40 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Test the potatoes are soft with a fork. If they are, mash a few of them up with the back of the fork to thicken your sauce. If still firm, add a little more water and test again in 5 minutes or so.

Season with salt to taste and serve in large bowls with warm naan breads or rotis.


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