We know that when it comes to gut health, diversity is key, with research suggesting we should be eating and drinking at least 30 different plant foods each week. So I’m excited to share one of my favourite recipes for a warming, filling and immensely satisfying dinner, one that packs in the plant foods.
As a curry it can't lay any great claim to authenticity – but is inspired instead by the aromatic herb, spice and flavour combinations I often find myself drawn to in cold, dark January, including warm garam masala and the partnership of punchy, acidic tomatoes and creamy coconut milk. Although this recipe isn’t suitable for the elimination phase of the Low-FODMAP diet, it is lower in FODMAPs and easier on sensitive guts, using garlic infused oil and tinned chickpeas. As always, adapt the recipe to suit you and your tolerances.
2 tablespoons garlic infused oil
5cm root ginger, finely chopped
2 teaspoons of garam masala
¼ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 tablespoon tomato puree
4 large carrots, roughly chopped
1 aubergine, roughly chopped
2 red bell peppers, roughly chopped
1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk
1 x 400ml tin of plum tomatoes
½ teaspoon of sugar
200g block of paneer, chopped into 1inch pieces
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
Small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
1. Warm the oil in a large pan over medium high heat. When it turns glossy, add in the ginger, garam masala and chilli flakes. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute then squeeze in the tomato puree, allowing it to caramelise on the bottom of the pan for another minute or so.
2. Stir in the carrots, aubergine and peppers and sauté for five minutes, or until all the veg is coated in the oil and spices and is starting to brown.
3. Turn down the heat to medium, and season generously. Pour in the coconut milk, plum tomatoes and sprinkle in the sugar. Fill the tomato tin half full of water and add it to the pan. Simmer for 25-30 mins until thick and saucy.
4. Meanwhile, prepare the quinoa. Rinse under cold water, tip into a saucepan, season, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, pop on a lid and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the grains are tender but still have some bite. Remove from the heat, fluff with a fork and cover again until ready to serve.
5. When the curry is 5 minutes away from being ready, heat some olive oil in a frying pan. Cook the chickpeas and paneer for 4-5 minutes until crisp and golden.
6. Divide the quinoa between bowls, top with the veggie curry and spoon over the crispy chickpeas and paneer. Sprinkle over the chopped coriander and serve.