I love spicy food. Not just for the flavour, either. Dishes with more kick provide plenty of health advantages, including increased levels of serotonin, lower blood pressure and decreased inflammation. People who enjoy spices tend to put less stress on their minds and their bodies.
12 years ago I chose to become vegan and I won’t pretend it was always a tasty experience. Especially in the beginning, there was so little selection and what was available was pretty bland. Beer and spices were the saviour of many a tofu dish.
It’s much easier today (being a vegan in Toronto is dead simple… minus the “dead” part), but I still love what spices can do for food. And when a beer swings by and offers to help with the meal, even more stress melts away.
Today I’m sharing my own, very simple, healthy recipe for curried chickpeas, using no oil or butter (I really do like mine hot though… you might want to scale back on the chili peppers or cayenne).
It’s paired with Great Lakes Brewery‘s Karma Citra (6.6% ABV), which is my favourite American style IPA. This beer is remarkably refreshing and its strong citrus character goes particularly well with the lemon and the heat.
About 25 minutes, start to finish
19oz can of chickpeas
handful of spinach, chopped
1/8 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 clove of garlic, chopped fine or pressed
1/4 cup chopped onion
green chili, chopped fine (as much as you can handle)
Frank’s Red Hot (as much as you feel like)
sour cream (vegan, in my case)
green onion, chopped
- Cook Stage 1 ingredients in a pot of hot water until spinach is stringy
- In a bowl, add the ingredients from Stage 2 (lemon juice, tomato paste, powdered spices) and stir until it’s a sauce of even consistency
- Add the ingredients from Stage 3 into the sauce and stir
- Strain the chickpeas and spinach, and combine them with the sauce.
- Continue to stir all ingredients together until the spinach and chickpeas are completely coated
- Add optional ingredients to suit your taste
- Growing your own green onions in a windowsill is ridiculously simple. Google it.
GREAT LAKES BREWERY KARMA CITRA
Availability: LCBO (650 ml bottles), at the brewery and in better beer bars.
Special Notes: This beer won the 3rd annual Cask Days IPA Challenge back in 2011, and has been highly sought after by Ontario beer drinkers ever since. This batch won’t be around much longer.
Stats: 6.6% ABV, 65 IBUs