WE'VE talked a lot the last couple of weeks about creating meals from ingredients you have to hand that don’t involve unnecessary shopping trips in this time of lockdown. This week’s main is another idea concocted from storecupboard and freezer ingredients. It got me out of trouble when I realised the meal I’d planned had a vital ingredient missing. I was craving bangers and mash, made with meaty Merguez lamb sausages I had in the freezer. But when there was no spuds for the mash, that plan had to be revised!
I think the most exciting thing about this situation we’re finding ourselves in right now is the opportunity to be experimental with meals. Where once we would have had the convenience of nipping out for whatever took our fancy, now we really have to think of how to avoid having to go out for extra items. Challenging times, but I for one am enjoying the simplicity of having choice removed for a while. It doesn’t hurt to have to be resourceful and creative sometimes!
Very good practice for how we can manage our meal planning when all this is over.
All the main ingredients for this curry came from my cupboard and freezer. I used canned chickpeas, peanut butter and frozen beans for the main components. I did happen to have some leftover roast chicken in the fridge which I also added, just to use it up. But I must stress here that meat is not essential for this recipe. You can make this purely vegetarian or add some hard boiled egg quarters if you want to bulk it out a bit. You really don’t need meat because the chickpeas contain heaps of protein. If you don’t have frozen beans, you can use frozen peas or any mixed frozen veg - this is a curry that will adapt to almost any ingredient you have to hand.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 x 400g cans chickepeas
Handful cooked chicken, torn in shreds (optional)
2 tsp mild curry paste
350mls vegetable stock
1-2 tbsp peanut butter Handful of frozen beans or other frozen veg
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp mint sauce from a jar (optional)
Mango chutney for serving (optional)
- Heat oil in a pan and cook onion and garlic till soft but not browned.
- Add chickpeas and chicken if using.
- Cook over gentle heat for a couple of minutes, stirring.
- Add curry paste and cook for another couple of minutes, stirring to mix in the paste.
- Stir in the stock and peanut butter and bring to bubbling. Add beans.
- Cover with a lid and simmer gently for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly.
- Season and stir in mint sauce if using.
- Serve in warmed bowls with boiled rice. Finish each bowl with a spoonful of mango chutney if you have it.
Chickpeas 2 x 400mls cans 78c
Frozen Green Beans 450g €1.69 Peanut Butter 380g €4.99
Curry paste 283g €2.59