As mentioned in the previous post about our favourite veg Thai recipe book, a dear friend of ours had her birthday in June (yes, I know this is a looooong time ago now), and for her birthday we gave her a meal voucher at chez our house. She is also a vegetarian and a lover of Thai food, so we decided to make this Thai chickpea curry, thai fried curried rice, and son-in-law eggs. I thought the story behind this recipe is quite cool so I have quoted it here for you.
‘I found this particular curry on a visit to a country temple – Wat Pratom Asoke, the centre of a forest monastery near the country town of Nakhon Pathom, west of Bangkok. The order of monks at the temple is vegetarian and they work on the land growing their own food. With such hard work they need to ensure a high protein level in their diet, hence this useful and tasty recipe. Because of the varied work at Wat Pratom Asoke some of the lay workers come to eat in the open air kitchen at odd hours, and a large bowl of chickpea curry is left waiting for anyone who needs it (Bhumichitr, 1992: 102)’
I like the idea of communal food and a bowl of chickpeas always available for people to eat. I think the world would be a better place with bowls of chickpea curry waiting all over the place. We have amended the curry a bit, increasing the amounts here and there. This is our version.
- 2-4 cloves of garlic
- 4-6 dhanya roots
- 1 Tbsp black pepper corns
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 1 tin coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp curry powder (we use either a spoon of Gorima’s leaf masala or a spoon of Joe’s Special from the Victoria St Market in Durban)
- 2 medium potatoes (peeled and cubed)
- 1 tin of chickpeas
- 2-3 fresh tomatoes (sliced into wedges)
- Minimum 10 basil leaves
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- half a tsp salt
- 1tsp sugar
Chop the dhanya roots and garlic and place with all the paste ingredients into a mortar and pestle and crush into a paste. It smells amazing as it is being crushed which makes up for the time it takes. If only we could have scratch and sniff food blogs.
In a pot, pour some oil and briefly fry the paste. Add the coconut milk and stir. Add the masala and sir through. Add the cubed potatoes and the chickpeas (drain first) and the tomatoes. Coarsely chop the basil and add to the curry. Season with the soy, salt and sugar. Leave to simmer until the potatoes are cooked through and the chickpeas have absorbed the flavour.