Roasted tomato & chickpea curry with coconut & coriander

Roasted tomato & chickpea curry with coconut & coriander

New Feast
Alan Benson

There is a large Indian population in the Arabian Peninsula and we’ve become increasingly interested in vegetarian Indian food. This light and fragrant curry is one of our favourites recipes, as it is very simple, relying on just two primary ingredients. Don’t be off put by the long list of ingredients in the spice blend: you can find them all at the supermarket and it really doesn’t take long to bring them all together. As curries go, this one is pretty straightforward. Serve it with naan bread, long-grain rice with lemon and toasted almonds or even – very non-traditionally – couscous.


Quantity Ingredient
1kg medium-sized vine-ripened tomatoes, stalks attached, if possible
80ml olive oil
6 cardamom pods, crushed for seeds, then crush the seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
6 cloves
2 star anise
1 small dried red chilli
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion, grated
3 garlic cloves, grated
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
250ml coconut milk
400g tinned chickpeas, well rinsed and drained
chopped coriander, rice, naan bread and greek-style yoghurt, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Arrange the vine-ripened tomatoes in a roasting tin. Drizzle on half the oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Roast for 10 minutes, or until the skins are just starting to split. Set aside 12 of the nicest tomatoes then peel and chop the rest.
  3. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the cardamom seeds, fennel and mustard seeds, the cloves and the star anise and fry for around 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden and aromatic (but not burnt!). Tip into a mortar, add the dried red chilli, and grind everything to as fine a powder as you can manage. Sieve to remove any larger bits and combine with the cumin, coriander, turmeric and black pepper.
  4. Heat the remaining oil in a casserole or heavy-based saucepan. Add the grated onion, garlic and ginger and saute for around 10 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the spices and fry for 2–3 minutes, stirring them around in the oily onion mixture. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan, together with the coconut milk and season to taste. Heat to just below boiling point, then lower the heat and simmer gently for around 15 minutes.
  5. Add the chickpeas to the pan, together with the 12 reserved tomatoes. Simmer gently for 8–10 minutes, just until the tomatoes have warmed through. You want them to retain their shape.
  6. Sprinkle on plenty of chopped coriander and serve with rice, naan bread and plenty of yoghurt.
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