Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Thai Chickpea Almond Curry from Let Them Eat Vegan!

During my blogging sabbatical, we started a new cookbook over at VegCookbook Club: Let Them Eat Vegan! by Dreena Burton. So far, most of the things I've made from it have been super yummy.

To tempt you to cook with us (we've still got 17 days left in August), I asked the folks at Da Capo Press if they had a recipe from the book I could share with you.  They sent over this recipe for Thai Chickpea Almond Curry.  Enjoy!

Thai Chickpea Almond Curry
Serves 4 to 5, depending on accompaniments

While this bakes, you will be enchanted with the aromatic mingling of nutty coconut sauce infused with lime, ginger, and curry. It is a deeply flavorful dish that is also almost effortless
in preparation. Everything comes together lickety-split and you have an exotic bean entrée to serve over rice.

1 medium to large clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon sea salt (plus another few pinches, if desired)
2½ to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 (14-ounce) can “lite” coconut milk
¼ cup almond butter
½ tablespoon tamari
1½ tablespoons peeled and roughly chopped fresh ginger
1½ to 2 teaspoons red curry paste (I use Thai Kitchen brand)
⅛ to ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional; or use more if you like the heat!)

Chickpea mixture:
2 (14-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed (3¾ to 4 cups)
2 cups zucchini that has been halved or quartered lengthwise (depending on thickness) and sliced about ¼ inch thick (see note)
¾ cup green onion (mostly white bottom portion, but some green as well)
2 dried or fresh kaffir lime leaves (optional)
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Thai basil, basil, or cilantro, for garnish (optional)
A few lime wedges, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

First prepare the sauce: In a blender, or using a deep large cup and an immersion blender, combine the garlic, ½ teaspoon of the salt, lime juice, coconut milk, almond butter, tamari, ginger, and curry paste. Puree well. Pour the sauce into a baking dish (8 by 12-inch, or similar size) and stir in the red pepper flakes. Add the chickpeas, zucchini, green onions, and lime leaves (if using), and stir well.

Cover the dish with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Then remove the foil, stir, and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes uncovered. (Note that the sauce should thicken but can become too thick, so keep an eye on it, and remove once it begins to thicken, so it is does not become pasty.)

Add a few pinches of salt to taste, if desired. Serve, topping the portions with fresh herbs, if desired, and with a lime wedge on the side.

Savvy Subs and Adds: Almond butter is my first choice in this recipe, but consider switching it up occasionally with natural peanut or cashew butter in place of the almond.
Feel free to substitute other veggies in part or in whole for the zucchini. I love zucchini, so it is a natural choice for me. Other veggies to consider are sliced red peppers (and these add a lovely color), chopped cauliflower, steamed potatoes, or snow peas.

From the book Let Them Eat Vegan! by Dreena Burton. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2012. www.dacapopresscookbooks.com. Recipe photo by Hannah Kaminsky.

Full disclosure: I received a review copy of Let Them Eat Vegan! Also, the link to Let Them Eat Vegan! is attached to my Amazon Associates Account. If you make a purchase after clicking on the link, I get a small percentage of the sale, which I'll probably use to buy more books.

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