Thursday, 4 April 2013

Chickpea, Mushroom and Spinach Korma

It’s still like winter here even though Easter has been and gone – we actually had another light flurry of snow this morning; it’s getting beyond a joke now and I am still cooking winter meals!

Now, I know what you’re thinking... This doesn’t look like any Korma I’ve ever seen; where’s the cream, where’s the ground almonds? That’s what I thought too, and that’s what drew me to it. It’s my vegetarianised version of this recipe by Atul Kochhar. Obviously I didn’t want the fish but I liked the look of the spicy tomatoey sauce served with it, so I used the sauce as a base, played around with it a bit and added chickpeas, mushrooms and spinach.

According to Atul (hark at me, first name terms – anyone'd think I know him!) it’s a Middle Eastern Korma; he uses baharat in it, a spice mix I’ve never come across before but I have led a very sheltered life. Wiki says baharat is a generic Arabic word for ‘spices' - there you go, you learn something new every day...

The smell in the kitchen while it was cooking was divine, I could hardly wait for it to be ready to eat. It was worth waiting for, though – not quite like a curry but spicy with a warm fragrant kick to it. Definitely a keeper.

1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, finely chopped
200m Portobellini mushrooms, quartered
1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
½ tsp chilli powder
1 tsp Bart baharat
1 tsp ground turmeric
2.5cm piece of cinnamon stick
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 loomi (dried limes) or thinly pared rind of 1 lemon
1 tin of chickpeas, drained
200ml stock or water
a couple of handfuls of baby leaf spinach

Heat the vegetable oil in a large lidded pan and sauté the onions and mushrooms over a highish heat for five minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, chilli powder, baharat, turmeric and cinnamon stick; sauté for a couple of minutes.

Add the tomatoes, loomi or lemon rind, chickpeas and stock. Bring to the boil, pop the lid on and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the loomi or lemon rind and the cinnamon stick then stir the spinach into the sauce until it wilts.

Serve immediately with rice or naan.


  1. I've vaguely heard of baharat but never used it or knowingly eaten it, will have to look next time I go shopping..

    The curry looks nice and easy to make, and delicious too - I love all the ingredients in it.

    There is a 'korma' I make, which substitutes all the cream for low fat yoghurt - which surprisingly is still delicious in its own way but my brother was not as amused after expecting a restaurant style Korma - I don't think I will ever live that one down!!

    1. If your brother wasn’t impressed with low-fat yogurt in a korma he’d be really disappointed with this one!! We loved it though. x