Welcome to the first instalment of the PLOT2PLATE series. There is nothing better than good food and when you’ve grown that good food yourself it’s even more satisfying, let alone tastier.
As most will be aware if you follow my blog I have an allotment and a kitchen garden too, in which I grow my own seasonal produce. It’s something I urge others if they’re not doing already to give a try for many reasons but a few are taste, quality and variety.
Now sometimes when we grow are own food, we get gluts or have grown something totally new to us, and then have no idea what to do with it. Well I would like to try help out here, another hobby of mine is cooking. I love to cook and love GOOD food too, in fact you could go as far as calling me a bit of a food snob.
So hopefully each week I will be aiming to bring to you a seasonal recipe to help tackle your gluts and harvests. Tweak them as you see fit, I would, I always do, I can never stick to a recipe I have to interfere. I won’t take offence, I promise.
So here is the first recipe, Chard, Squash & Chickpea Curry. A simple warming comfort dish for a cold and dark January. The home grown produce in this recipe is chard and is a variety called ‘Bright Lights’ the squash is a variety called ‘Uchiki Kuri’ and it’s very yummy and then the only other home grown items are the onions.
This recipe serves 6-8 people depending on portion preference (I freeze half)
1 x Medium Squash cut into chunks
1 x large onion or 2 x small onions diced
2 x Tinned Chickpeas
2 x Tinned Chopped Tomatoes
10-15 Chard leaves chopped and stalks removed
Handful of Chopped Corriander
4 x Cloves of Garlic crushed or finely chopped
2 x Tbsp Garam Masala
1 x Tbsp Curry Powder
1 x Tbsp Ground Tumeric
1-2 x Tsp of Chilli Flakes ( Depends how hot you like it)
1 x Tbsp Olive Oil
1 x Tbsp Ground Cumin
1 x Tsp Black Onion Seed
1 x Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp of Dark Brown Sugar
1 x Tbsp of Tomato Puree
500ml of Vegetable or Chicken Stock
Season with Salt & Pepper
In a large pan on a medium heat add the oil and gently fry the onions until golden brown, before adding the garlic and frying for a further minute before adding the spices. Add a splash of water if necessary to stop the spices from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Add the squash and stir to coat simmer for 1 minute. Then add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, vinegar and sugar. further stir until all the ingredients are combined. simmer for 1-2 minutes before adding the chickpeas and stock and seasoning, give the ingredients another good stir and simmer for 45mins on a medium – low heat stirring occasionally.
After 45mins has passed check the squash to make sure it is tender. If not allow a little longer to soften up. If the squash is tender add thhe chopped chard and coriander, stir to combine for a few minutes. Once the chard has wilted down your curry is ready to serve.
Serve with basmati rice and/or Nann bread.
(Please taste test before serving to make sure you are satisfied with the heat and spice strength, add more spice if you require.)
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