Thursday, 27 February 2014

Vegan chickpea and courgette kofta

Chickpeas are a great store cupboard essential. I normally have a few tins as well as a bag of dried chickpeas lurking somewhere at the back of my shelves. Hummus is an obvious way to use up the peas and I could quite happily munch my way through tubs of the sesame spiked paste. For a slightly more unusual use my blog founding chocolate chickpea cake recipe is great. But chickpeas are perfect to bulk out vegetarian and vegan food often giving a bit more substance meat free dishes. And this vegan curry recipe displays this quality of chickpeas perfectly, in fact you really wouldn’t notice that there was anything missing from this vegan feast.

This recipe is based on Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s chandra malai kofta recipe published over on the Guardian website. So go check out the original for a slightly more authentic recipe as I made a few tweaks (mainly substituting cashew nuts with peanut butter) to suit what I had in my cupboards at the time of cooking. Either way this is a truly tasty treat.


½ tin of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
100g courgette (grated)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger (grated)
1 clove of garlic (crushed)
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons corn flour

1 tablespoon crunchy peanut butter
1 cup vegetable stock
1 medium onion (finely diced)
1 clove of garlic (crushed)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger (grated)
½ tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ tin of coconut milk
1 tablespoon tomato puree
½ cup frozen peas

Toast the cumin seeds in a pan over a medium heat for about 3 minutes until lightly brown and fragrant.

Mash the chickpeas in a bowl together with the toasted cumin seeds until well combined then add the courgette, coriander, ginger, garlic and salt. Then add the breadcrumbs and cornflour and use your hands to bring the mixture together onto a firm ball. Then wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile make the sauce by gently frying the onion in a saucepan until it begins to soften. Then add the garlic and ginger for about 1 minute before adding the curry powder, garam masala and cumin and stir for another minute until fragrant. Add the coconut milk, tomato puree, peanut butter and vegetable stock, bring to a gently simmer and cook for 15 minutes until reduced and thickened.

Place a large frying pan over a medium heat and add a little vegetable oil. Take a small handful of the kofta mix at a time and form into a fat sausage shape and add to the frying pan. Continue forming approximately 8 kofta. Fry the kofta for about 8 minutes rolling them about in the pan so that they cook evenly on all sides.

Finally add the peas to the curry sauce mix and warm through and then serve the curry sauce together with the kofta and some boiled rice (I used red rice), then tuck in and enjoy.

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