Sweet carrots and chickpeas

About a week ago when it was one of my nights to cook for the family I was talking with Boy. The proposed dinner plan was a chestnut and sweet potato curry, and I asked him if he’d be ok with that. He said yes, which I was pleasantly surprised by. Then he said something else.

“It doesn’t really matter what you put in a curry anyway.”

Excuse me?

“Well, once you’ve put the onion and curry powder and stuff in it all tastes the same.”

I can’t remember what I actually said in reply to this, but I suspect it wasn’t more coherent than vague sputtering noises.

Later when eating the curry he observed “See what I mean? You can hardly taste the sweet potato or chestnut.”

On the one hand, he was wrong. The curry was basically chunks of sweet potato and a spicy chestnut sauce. The chestnut was subtle, sure, but chestnut sauces are always mild. On the other hand, he did have a point. My spice selection has become a bit lacking in variety recently. So I’ve been meaning to experiment with more interesting combinations.

Today’s recipe was a case of that. I was hungry and didn’t have any convenient food (and didn’t want eggs, as I had far too many of them yesterday), so I decided to cook something. Here’s how it went.

What I used:

Two largish carrots
Two small onions
Can of kala chana (brown chickpeas)
Handful of raisins
2 tbsp sunflower oil
About 3cm cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamon seeds
4 cloves
2 dried red chillis
1/2 tbsp coarse salt

What I did:

First of all I dry fried all the spices and then ground them in the mortar and pestle. The grumbling about this can be taken as read.

I’d had quite a lot of success with the shredding implement on the food processor yesterday when making the latkes, so rather than fussing around with chopping things I just peeled the carrots and onions and shoved them through it. Instant well chopped carrot and onion for almost no work. I think I could very easily grow to like this attachment…

So, I heated the oil in the pan, added the carrots and onions and fried for a few minutes. Then I added the spices and continued frying it until the carrots had softened somewhat.

At this point I decided it would be a crime not to have raisins with the carrots, so I took a handful of them and added them in and continued frying, adding the kala chana a few minutes later. Fried it for another five minutes or so then took it off the heat and covered it for another five while I heated up the pita bread to eat it with.


Very nice. The combination of sweet and spicy worked very well as usual, and it augmented the flavour of the carrot wonderfully. Also, with the food processor to do most of the work, this was incredibly easy. The spice could possibly have done with being slightly milder. I think when I make it again I’ll only use one chilli.

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