We all have those days when we open the refrigerator and realize that it’s really time to go grocery shopping. Even with a regular schedule for “grocery day” and “farmer’s market day,” I sometimes find myself running low on things I’m used to having around, things like bell peppers, garlic and greens. And since we live at least a 20-minute drive from the nearest grocery store, there’s no such thing as popping out to pick up a few things before dinner.
That’s where this recipe came from. It’s amazing what comes into your head when your “go-to” ingredients aren’t readily available. Instead of looking at that lack as, well, a lack, it gives you an opportunity to make use of things that you might not otherwise have thought to put together. In this case, I had a lot of mushrooms, tomatoes and chickpeas to work with. Toss in a few Indian spices, serve it over rice and ta-da! Spicy, pungent curry with a pleasing texture and unique flavor.
This is an especially good recipe for using up any tomatoes that might be hanging around from your garden, or some of those beautiful heirlooms that are still appearing at farmer’s markets. I wouldn’t recommend using store-bought tomatoes; they don’t have nearly the same flavor. If you can’t get a good, homegrown tomato, drained canned diced tomatoes might be okay.
The mushrooms were supposed to be the “star” of this, but all the ingredients pretty much wound up balancing each other. The firm “bite” of the chickpeas is complemented by the chewy texture of the mushrooms and the tomatoes cook down into a bit of a sauce that carries the spices to all parts of the dish.
Use as much or as little cayenne as you like to control the heat, and toss in some spinach if you have it! I’d love to make this again with something green, and spinach adds such a nice, silky note to Indian curries. If you don’t have brown basmati rice to serve it with, regular brown rice works just fine. Leftovers would be great slopped in a wrap with a little bit of chutney.
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 1 Tbsp. minced ginger
- 2 tsp. curry powder
- 1 tsp. cumin
- ½ tsp. coriander
- ¼-1/2 tsp. cayenne, to taste
- ¼ tsp. turmeric
- 8 oz. white or cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup almond milk (or another non-dairy milk)
- 1½ cups or 1 15.5oz. can chickpeas (rinsed if canned)
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
- salt or liquid aminos, to taste
- 4 cups cooked brown basmati rice, for serving
- Place the onions in a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Saute for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add splashes of water to the pan if necessary to keep the onions from sticking.
- Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, cumin, coriander, cayenne and turmeric and cook, stirring, for another minute.
- Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they cook down and begin to release their juices. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes more.
- Add the almond milk and chickpeas, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and the salt, if using. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve over the rice.