Catalan #Chickpeas with #spinach and #raisins

These chickpeas are great as a side salad or as part of a tapas spread. A traditional Catalan dish, it is often a feature on Barcelona tapas or pinxtos menus. It appears the trick is to boil them until much softer than normal, even boil canned chickpeas which allows them to absorb more of the flavours from the dressing and gives a velvety smoothness to the dish.

Ingredients:

2 cans of chickpeas

2 bags of baby spinach leaves

1 red onion finely sliced

3 cloves of garlic crushed

1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts

1/2 cup of sultanas or raisins

1 red chilli finely chopped (optional)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup of white wine

Salt and pepper

1 teaspoon paprika for sprinkling(optional)

Handful of parsley chopped

Method:

Boil canned chickpeas in 3 cups of water Until soft but not falling apart about 10 minutes, drain and set aside

Heat olive oil in a seperate pan over medium heat, then cook onions, chilli and crushed garlic until transparent and aromatic.

add raisins and spinach leaves and white wine to onion mixture and simmer until spinach wilts slightly

Toast pine nuts in seperate pan until golden

Mix through spinach mixture and chickpeas, sprinkle with paprika and pine nuts and serve.

Lamb and spinach curry with lime

This is my version of lamb and spinach curry which is fresh and zesty through the addition of mint, coriander and lime to the traditional lamb and spinach combination. It goes really well served with rice or naan/flatbreads, and a side salad of tomato and cucumber.

Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 50 minutes
Ingredients:

750g diced lamb
1 bunch fresh English spinach, cleaned, washed and chopped finely
250g packet of frozen spinach defrosted
1/2 bunch mint – leaves only
1/2 bunch coriander – chopped
2 tablespoons ginger and garlic crushed paste
1/2 lime cut into thirds, other half reserved
2-3 red chillies, left whole
1 onion finely diced
1.5 tomato chopped
1 tspn salt
1 tspn cummin powder
1/2 tspn chilli powder
1/2 tspn turmeric
2 pieces cinnamon
4 cardamom pods
1 tspn cummin seeds
Handful curry leaves
3 tbspns vegetable oil

Fresh spinach adds extra texture to the silkiness of the frozen spinach.
Fresh spinach adds extra texture to the silkiness of the frozen spinach.

Method
Heat oil in large heavy based casserole pot
Add cinnamon, cummin seeds, curry leaves and cardamom pods and cook until fragrant, taking care not to burn the spices
Add onions and cook on medium heat until translucent
Add ginger and garlic paste and heat through
Add tomato, red chillies, then salt and ground spices – cummin, chilli and turmeric powders
Let the mixture heat through, then add diced lamb and stir-fry until meat is coated in onion spice mixture and sealed.

Add spinach, mint, coriander and lime to lamb mixture
Add spinach, mint, coriander and lime to lamb mixture

Add fresh and frozen spinach, mint and coriander, 1/2 a lime cut into thirds and a cup of water
Bring to a simmer and cook on medium heat with lid on for 40-50 minutes until lamb is tender, stir from time to time to ensure it’s not sticking, add more water if needed. Taste to check if lamb is tender and add more salt if required
Remove lime pieces, garnish with extra coriander and serve with quarters of fresh lime to squeeze over.

Simmer lamb and spinach mixture over medium heat until lamb is tender
Simmer lamb and spinach mixture over medium heat until lamb is tender