Quick Chickpea Curry

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Everyone, my newsletter readers liked the idea that I’d post recipes now and then. We creatives get awful busy, so knowing how to make good, fast, nutritious food is important. So I’ll do this every now and then.

This one is a fast curry that you can throw on rice or polenta and just eat right away. Serve with a good spinach or kale salad for a full meal!

2 servings.

  • 1 ½ cups diced tomatoes (one 14.5 oz can drained, or 2-3 tomatoes)
  • ¼ tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 3 tsp crushed garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 ½ tsp curry powder (use S&B)
  • 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas (one 14.5 oz can drained)
  1. Mix all but chickpeas. Microwave on high for one minute.
  2. Stir. Microwave on high for one minute.
  3. Mash tomatoes with fork. Add chickpeas
  4. Microwave for one minute.
  5. Serve

May want to substitute other peppers like chipotle or ancho for black pepper.

If you want to work greens in, put about 10-16 oz of spinach in the bowl first with just a bit of water, and microwave a minute or two so it wilts. Then add the rest of the ingredients. On top of rice you’ve got two veggies, one grain, and your proteins!

Steven Savage

Recipe: Japanese Curry Sauce Plus

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com and Steve’s Tumblr)

Figured it’s time I get back to posting my cooking experiments.

This sauce came about after seeing an Indian mini-cafeteria on my job.  It had some lovely thick sauces that looked like a complete meal on rice, and there was a dish that was a bed of greens, then rice, then curry.  These came together in my head to make me ask “can I make a curry sauce that is largely a meal?”

This is the result.  This sauce’s body comes from squash and garbanzo beans and tastes very much like my Japanese Curry sauces.  Each serving has a about serving of legumes and a serving of vegetables in it.  Throw it onto rice with a side dish – or rice and a bed of greens, say shredded spinach, and you have a very complete meal.

Makes 6-8 servings


  • 1 small butternut squash (about 2 pounds unpeeled), peeled, seeded, cut into cubes.
  • 2 tomatoes, diced.
  • 3 cups cooked garbanzo beans (2 14.5 oz cans)
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 2/3 cup red wine (shiraz and zinfandel are good)
  • 4 tablespoons curry powder.
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4  tablespoons soy sauce (If you use store-bought not-quite sodium free vegetable broth, use 1 Tbsp)
  • 4T bsp garlic
  • 4 1/2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 4 Tbsp peanut butter

To prepare:

  1. Place squash, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, vegetable stock, wine into a pot, bring to boil, simmer.
  2. While bringing to boil, add other ingredients one at a time, stirring.
  3. When the squash is soft, mash with potato masher to break it and the beans and tomatoes up.
  4. Either puree with immersion blender or let cool and puree in regular blender.

Notes:  This sauce is a bit thick, may need more vegetable broth – I’d say ½ to 1 cups.  it’s also hot so you might want to tone the curry powder down a bit depending on taste

– Steve

Recipe: Eight Cup Curry

So before I go into detail about this recipe, let me give it to you first.  Essentially I repurposed a recipe to make a general curry, it needs work, but it’s a start.

So here you go:


  • 1 large tomato, diced (about a cup)
  • 1 Tablespoon crushed garlic (about 3 cloves)
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder (S&B Curry)
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 4 cups assorted diced non-starchy vegetables
  • 4 cups assorted frozen or cooked legumes
  • Around 1/2 cup of water
  • Cilantro if needed.


  1. Place tomato and garlic in pot, with just enough water to cover the bottom.  On high heat stir and mash until it forms a paste, adding water if needed.  The goal is to keep just enough water to make it into a paste but not dry-fry it.  This takes around 5 minutes.
  2. Add any vegetables or frozen vegetables that need cooking to soften like carrots or peppers or cauliflower (some frozen vegetables are cooked then frozen so pay attention).  Add a bit more water, enough to have the bottom of the pot covered.  Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, stirring every few minutes until they start to soften.
  3. Add legumes and any vegetables that don’t need to be cooked, just defrosted, mix thoroughly.
  4. Add spices and stir thoroughly.
  5. Cook until heated through.
  6. Serve alone or with a grain, with cilantro if desired.

So this is a repurposed version of a green pea and yam curry I had that was very simple but tasty, so I wondered if it could be remade to a general curry.  If I could get a general curry recipe that’d let me use most anything I had, it’d be very useful and tweakable.  It also would create a general recipe that would let me, or anyone else, use whatever was lying around, or use a few frozen vegetables grabbed at a store.

The name comes from the fact it’s designed to use eight cups of food – half legumes, half other vegetables.  The original recipe worked that way too.

How did it come out?  Decent.  It was a bit too hot (an issue with the original recipe) and sour, but still quite good – one of those things that I can critique while still noting it’s good.  At the core of it is a solid curry powder and simple ingredients, which works.  I was put in mind of a kind of curry at a good buffet – you might not be thrilled if it came as a prepared meal, but it’d be acceptable in that situation.

I think I can make it work with a few changes – something sweet (an apple or raisins in the sauce), perhaps a bit less lime juice, maybe cut the red pepper.

One thing that stood out in this meal is what the mix did – I had four different vegetables (carrot, red pepper, cauliflower, green beans) and two legumes (green peas and black eye peas), plus I served it on barley (my preferred grain).  Every bite was a mix of flavors, each chew revealed more – all wrapped in strong sauce.  Once I get this right, this is going to be a great meal.

Also note it’s rather balanced.  Combine this with a grain and fruit for desert and you’ve got just about every kind of vegan nutrition there is.  Or eat two servings for a full meal.

Not a vegan or vegetarian?  I think substituting 1-2 cups of meat for an equivalent amount of vegetables may work.  Not sure beef would work on this – chicken or turkey is probably best.

I’m going to keep working on this one.  Done right I get something that’s fast, shareable, and good – and because it’s based on proportions I can scale it up easily (even if that’d technically be sixteen cup curry or twenty-four cup curry).  A great way to make a lot of meals at once or a lazy way to stock the freezer for a lot of food fast.



– Steven Savage