Recipe for simple, rich and flavorful Spinach and Chickpea curry with pieces of tender paneer cheese
2/3 cup dried chickpeas (2 cups cooked)
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 to 2 fresh green or red chilies, seeded and chopped
2 dried whole red chilies, broken
1/3 cup red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 tablespoon sesame or olive oil
1 cup baby spinach
2 tablespoons yogurt
1/2 cup milk or almond milk
2/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon brown or coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
8 to 12 oz (200 to 300 g) paneer cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Rinse the chickpeas and soak in several inches of water for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a medium saucepan and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour or until tender. Drain and set aside.
Combine the tomatoes, chilies, onion, garlic, ginger and ground spices in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the spiced tomato purée to the pan and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, until thickened.
Now add the spinach and yogurt and cook until the spinach leaves are just wilted. Add the milk, water, sugar and vinegar, bring to a gentle boil, and simmer for another 5 minutes. Add the paneer cubes and chickpeas and simmer, covered, for another 5 to 10 minutes. Add more water to achieve desired consistency.
Stir in the salt, black pepper and chopped fresh parsley and serve with hot fresh cooked white rice or flat breads of your choice.