Saturday, August 9, 2014

Caribbean chick pea (garbanzo bean), sweet potato and courgette (zucchini) curry

If you grow your own courgettes (zucchini) you'll know they seem to ripen all at once and you're scratching your head wondering what to do with them all.

The good news is there are numerous ways you can cook courgettes (zucchini) to create mouth-watering dishes. 

By combining courgettes (zucchini) in different ways with other vegetables, herbs and spices , you can transport your taste-buds to all corners of the globe and say goodbye to those piles of watery mushy pulp on your plate. 

Caribbean cuisine is a fusion of African, American Indian, European, East Indian, Arab and Chinese cuisine. These traditions were brought from many different countries when they went to the Caribbean. In addition, the local population has created styles that are unique to the region.

Ingredients which are common in most islands' dishes are rice, plantains, beans, cassava, coriander (cilantro), bell peppers, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), tomatoes, sweet potatoes, coconut, and any of various meats that are locally available like beef, poultry, pork or fish. 

This plant-based dish combines chickpeas (garbanzo beans), sweet potatoes, courgettes (zucchini), bell peppers, tomatoes, coconut and coriander (cilantro) with a variety of spices to create a healthy, flavourful and delicious curry.

Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are an excellent source of molybdenum, which is needed for alcohol detoxification. They're also a very good source of fibre, folic acid (especially important during pregnancy), and manganese. In addition, they're a good source of protein, as well as minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper and zinc.

Chickpeas help lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar levels, making them a great food for diabetics and those with insulin resistance.

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of carotenes, vitamins C and B6. They're also a good source of manganese, copper, biotin, vitamins B2 and B5, and dietary fibre.

Courgettes are low in calories and provide reasonable amounts of vitamin C, potassium and carotenes.

Carotenes are powerful antioxidants and help to protect the body from cancer and other chronic diseases.


1 tbsp olive oil
1 pinch sea salt
1 white onion (peeled and chopped)
1 clove garlic (peeled and crushed)
1 piece (30g/2oz) fresh root ginger (peeled and grated)
1 small hot red chilli pepper (seeds removed, finely chopped)
2 tbsp curry powder
½ tsp fenugreek seed
1 tsp cumin seed
10 curry leaves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 can (400g/14oz or 240g/8½oz) chickpeas/garbanzo beans
1 large (500g/1lb) sweet potato (peeled and chopped into 2cm chunks)
3 tbsp coconut powder dissolved in 1½ cups (350ml/12 floz) water, or 1 can coconut milk
2 tbsp arrowroot powder or corn flour (dissolved in a little cold water)
1 medium (300g/10½oz) courgette/zucchini (cut into small chunks – sprinkle with 1 tsp fresh lemon juice to prevent browning)
1 red bell pepper (seeds removed, cut into small pieces)
2 ripe tomatoes (washed and diced)
1 dessert spoon sweet white miso (dissolved in a little water)
1 tbsp fresh coriander/cilantro (washed and chopped)


1. Add oil and pinch of sea salt to a large saucepan, put on a low heat and add onion. Sweat gently for a few minutes until onion soft and translucent. Add garlic, ginger, chilli pepper and spices (curry powder, fenugreek, cumin, curry leaves, cinnamon), chickpeas/garbanzo beans, sweet potato, 1 cup (½ pint/240ml) coconut milk and diluted arrowroot (adding arrowroot or cornflour at this stage prevents the coconut milk from separating). Simmer for 10-15 minutes until sweet potato begins to soften.

2. Add courgette/zucchini, red bell pepper and tomatoes and simmer for a further 10-15 minutes. Add remaining ½ cup coconut milk.

3. Mix in sweet white miso to taste. Garnish with fresh coriander/cilantro and serve with rice. 

Nutritional information

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