I’ve been stocking up my freezer with home made ready meals. This is partly to reduce my food costs (and batch cooking is one of the easiest ways to do that) and partly to have a big selection of quick meals to choose from in January when I know I’m going to be busy. I have a few projects on the go – finishing renovating my home office, planning for renovating the downstairs of my house (hopefully happening in spring) and clearing out a spare bedroom. I will also be busy with my day job – one reason for getting the home office ready as soon as possible.
My list of freezer batch meals already included vegetarian chilli, super green lasagne and cauliflower gratin (serious comfort food for the winter) but I wanted one more. I decided on this chickpea curry because I could put it together with ingredients I mainly had in stock, I just needed to buy the lemon grass which gives it a fragrant, Thai curry flavour. Whenever I do a curry I always make my own curry paste – it’s so easy as you just need to blitz everything in a food processor (or you could use a pestle and mortar). So there’s no reason to be put off by the long list of ingredients.
I’ve included an orange pepper, green beans and potatoes in this recipe because they needed to be used up – using up food is a great reason for making a curry – but you can use anything you have to hand.
This is a vegan curry (if you omit the fish sauce) which means I now have both plenty of vegan/vegetarian ready meals in my freezer, which will substantially reduce my food bills for January, leaving me more money to put into my renovation projects.
These quantities make enough for six portions (if served with rice and a few other accompaniments like salads and chutneys).
- 2 tins of chickpeas, drained
- 1 tin of tomatoes
- 4 small potatoes, cubed
- 1 tin of coconut milk
- Vegetables you need to use up – eg peppers, green beans
- 1 pint of boiling water
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
For the curry paste:
- 1 red onion, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 2 lemon grass stalks
- 4 fresh chillies (I had 1 green and 3 red chillies to use up)
- Thumb size piece of peeled, fresh ginger
- Juice of one lime
- 2 lime leaves
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (omit for a vegan version)
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Salt and pepper
- Slices of red onion to garnish.
- Put all the ingredients for the curry paste in a blender and blitz.
- Heat the sunflower oil in a saucepan and gently fry the curry paste for about 10 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, chickpeas and vegetables and stir well. Cook for about five minutes.
- Add the water and tinned tomatoes and bring to the boil before reducing to a simmer. Check for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 25 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk and cook gently for about 5-10 minutes.
- Garnish with red onion and serve.
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