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Spiced Chick Peas with Spinach, Aubergine and Thai Spices

Serves 4
1 large aubergine
2 large onions
2 garlic cloves
2tsp grated fresh ginger
4tsp olive oil
2tsp ground cumin
2tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
½tsp cayenne pepper
½tsp ground cinnamon
90g/3oz creamed coconut
600ml/20fl oz boiling water
1 tbsp tomato paste
2tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon rind
1 large can chick peas
225g/8oz spinach
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
2 tomatoes, optional
salt and freshly ground black pepper
chopped fresh mint, to garnish

1 Dice the aubergine and onions and crush the garlic cloves.
2 Place the aubergine, onions, garlic and ginger in a saucepan with the olive oil and sweat them in the oil until they begin to soften.
3 Add the spices and cook for another 2 minutes.
4 Dissolve the creamed coconut in the boiling water and add to the pan along with the tomato paste, lemon juice, lemon rind and chick peas. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
5 Chop the spinach and add to the pan along with the fresh coriander. Either transfer to a casserole dish and cook in a pre- heated 180°C oven for 45 minutes, or continue to simmer, covered, on the top of the cooker for approximately 30 minutes or until the aubergine is soft. Add a little more water if the mixture starts to dry out before it is cooked.
6 Quarter the fresh tomatoes and add to the casserole. Season with salt and black pepper and mix well. Leave to stand for a few minutes to allow the tomatoes to warm through and just start to soften.
7 Garnish with the chopped mint and serve with rice, millet or quinoa and a green salad. This recipe is suitable for freezing.
This recipe is delicious with a little plain yogurt swirled through before serving.