Curried chickpeas with yoghurt and scallion

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This easy and delicious bowlful of goodness is based on a recipe by Heidi Swanson and when I threw it together last week we were practically licking the sides clean.

Chickpeas are one of those things we always seem to have in the cupboard if all else fails. That and a tin of coconut milk. Both can lead to great things. Of course it is better to soak them from scratch, but when all else fails and some meat-free sustenance is needed fast, they’re a dream to transform and you can take them in pretty much any direction.

The beauty of this bowl also depends largely on lots of parsley, although the original calls for coriander but I prefer its less overwhelming relative, and it is herb that shouldn’t be overlooked. Packed with vitamins C, K and A, it is also a brilliant liver cleanser and is highly effective at chelating the body of mercury and other toxic heavy metals – something we all need often when you look at the waters our fish inhabit an the air we breathe. It also contains volatile oils (notaby myristicin) which have been shown to prevent tumour formation and help neutralise the harmful effects of carcinogens: a special little herb which lends its taste to almost anything savoury. If in doubt, shove it in a green smoothie with spinach and banana and reap its rewards in easily-digestible bulk.

Oh, and a little note on curry powder: I hate Coronation chicken with a passion and have never used curry powder in my life until I found this recipe. I always thought it was overpowering and a bit of a cheat. But it is fast and delicious and once again my assumptions and habits have been turned on their head by my health and wellness journey. I start from scratch and give it pride of place on my spice rack.

Serves 4 as a side

Ingredients:

2 cans drained chickpeas

1 finely chopped leek

1 clove garlic, crushed

Zest of one lemon

1 tsp curry powder

2 scallions, finely chopped

A generous sprig of parsley, chopped

1 tbsp cold-pressed oil (hemp, coconut, rapeseed or groundnut)

2 tbsp plain yoghurt or dairy-free coyo

Start by lightly browning the chickpeas in the oil in a large pan on a medium heat until they become golden. Then add the leeks with a pinch of salt and brown them together for a further 3 or 4 minutes. Just before you remove the pan from the heat, add the garlic and lemon zest and stir, then set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, mix your yoghurt with a little oil, salt and curry powder and season to taste. Mix into the chickpeas and serve warm with scallion and parsley sprinkled on top.

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