This is a slightly modified version of a Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall recipe. I love it because it’s easy-to-make, mild yet tasty and it has lots of contrasting flavours and textures. It can be served as either a main meal or a side dish.
Swiss Chard is increasingly available in the shops and is in season from June to September. Because I love this vegetable so much and on Portland it’s not always easy to find, this year I had a go at growing it—and I was amazed how quickly and well it grew. The taste of home-grown produce is so much better – so for novice and experienced gardeners alike, this is one to try. Needless to say I’ve now had Swiss Chard in all manner of different ways—but this recipe is my favourite.
Ingredients for Mild Swiss Chard Chickpea Curry
Creates 3–6 portions (depending whether a main or side dish)
- 2 x rounded teaspoons of ghee or coconut oil
- 2 red onions, peeled and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 1 tsp ground ginger (or grated fresh)
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 2 tsp ground coriander (or fresh leaves)
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- one quarter of small red chill very finely chopped or 1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
- Approx 300g Swiss Chard
- 200g cooked chickpeas* (or 1 tin – make sure it’s additive free)
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes (make sure sugar/preservative free)
- 300g mushrooms sliced
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh coriander leaves (or parsley), to garnish
Heat 1 teaspoon of ghee or coconut oil (the other teaspoon is for later) in a large saucepan and sizzle the spices for 30 seconds. Add the chopped onion and garlic and sauté gently for 10 minutes.
Remove the stalks from the chard and chop into bite-sized pieces. Add to the pan, cook for five minutes, and then add the chickpeas, tinned tomatoes. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring from time to time. Meanwhile, heat the 2nd teaspoon of ghee in a small frying pan over medium-high heat and fry the mushrooms until all liquid has evaporated and they brown a little.
Shred the chard leaves, add to the curry pot along with the mushrooms, and cook for a few minutes, stirring often, until the leaves are tender and wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve scattered with coriander. Eat with rice and/or other vegetables.
* I prefer to soak-overnight dried chickpeas and then cook them—usually whilst I’m having breakfast—boiled for 35-45 minutes with just a pinch of rock or sea salt. 100g of dried will yield approx 200g. The cooking time varies dependant on the season and age of the chickpeas. Ideally they still have a ‘bite’ when cooked. Tinned chickpeas are softer than I would cook them. They often have preservatives, sugar and salt too. However there are some with only added water—the Co-op’s own brand being one of these.
Eat Well—Be Well 🙂