Quick & Easy Pantry Comfort Food: Snow Day Coconut Chickpea Curry

WELL almost all from the pantry. This also included most of a box of sad past it’s prime salad spinach. Do you have one of those? Or maybe it’s kale, any dark leafy green can be friends with this curry.  Rob and I fit in a trip to Hong Kong right after our winter camp and sadly for the first time in years Rob got an nasty head cold & cough bug. It was a tough trip in many ways, but it is a fascinating place full of amazing food and I was grateful for the opportunity to race and run on the trails. Needless to say we both came home exhausted and depleted just ahead of a record setting snowstorm here in Flagstaff. Upon our return I had to rely on the the few items left in the fridge (looking at you box of spinach I just couldn’t throw away before we left) and our pantry to create something easy, quick and comforting for us both to regroup with. I keep a fairly large pantry which Rob gives me a hard time about sometimes but it sure came in handy last week!

  • Basmati rice 1-2 cups
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
  •  1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 large onion diced
  • salt to taste 1-2 teaspoons
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper ( adjust according to your preferred spice level)
  • 1 14 oz can chickpeas rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 of a large box of baby spinach ( as noted above any dark green will do)
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk


NOTE: A few things would improve this dish if you have them around: 1-2 cloves garlic minced, subbing 1 tablespoon fresh ginger for the ground, chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

  1. Cook rice according to package directions with one cinnamon stick, 1 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  2. Heat remaining ghee or coconut oil in large sauté pan over medium heat.
  3. Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds and stir until toasted and fragrant 30 seconds – 1 minute.
  4. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until soft and lightly brown – 8-10 minutes.
  5. Add remaining spices, stir to coat and sauté for two minutes until fragrant.
  6. Add chickpeas, stir to coat and sauté an additional 2-3 minutes.
  7. Next add spinach, stir, cover and let wilt for about 5 minutes reducing the heat a bit
  8. Stir again and add tomatoes and coconut milk.
  9. Raise the heat and bring to a boil, then cover turn down to a simmer for about 15 minutes to let the flavors meld and the sauce thicken a bit.
  10. Stir and serve over hot rice.

I don’t have any pictures of this dish, and sometimes it’s not the most photogenic anyway. It is however creamy, spicy and comforting on a cold snowy night. I leave you instead with a little cat snow snorkeling action.





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