Curried Chickpea Stir-fry

This is going to be a quick post. I just want to share with you this great, super-quick dinner. It’s inspired by an old recipe of Heidi’s that I dug out of the archives as I searched for some ideas for the zucchini that was about to go bad in the fridge. I added some curry powder and changed up the cooking order a bit.

This is actually a very easy one skillet meal. You could serve it over cooked rice or quinoa if you want, but I didn’t think it needed it. And instead of prepping everything first, like I would do for a traditional stir fry, I chopped as I went, which further cut down on time (what can I say, I was hungry…). First, while chickpeas get brown and crusty, I cubed the tofu. While the tofu is getting brown I chopped the onion and zucchini. You get the idea.

A few notes: This is one of those times you want to get the firmest tofu you can find. Since the pan is already hot when you add the tofu, it browns pretty quickly, but tofu stuck to the bottom of a skillet is really a horrible tragedy. Also, I used ghee, a toasted clarified butter, in this. It stands up to heat well, unlike olive oil. If you can’t find it, use butter, or coconut oil would be great (and vegan). Also, the curry powder I used is pretty mild, which is why I used so much. If you only have Madras, you may want to use less, unless you really like the heat. Feel free to sub whatever vegetables you’ve got in your fridge.

Curried Chickpea Stir-fry

a few tablespoons of ghee, divided (or use butter or coconut oil)
2 tsp. mild curry powder, divided
1 c. chickpeas (canned are fine)
8 oz. firm or extra firm tofu, cubed small
1 onion, chopped
2 small zucchini, or one large, cubed
1/2 tsp. sea salt, and more to taste
1/2 bunch of kale, finely chopped
juice of half a lemon

Heat a dollop of ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Once it has melted, add one tsp. of curry powder. Pour in the chickpeas and stir to coat in the curry. Cook for at least 10 minutes, until they are browned and start to form a crust. They may even shrink a little. While you’re waiting for the chickpeas to cook, prep the rest of your ingredients. When they are done, take ‘em out of the pan and set aside.

You may need to add more ghee to the pan, or not. You decide. Toss in the tofu and let it sit without stirring for a few minutes to form a crust. Use a thin spatula to loosen it from the pan, and flip a few times until the tofu is brown and springy. Remove from pan and set aside (you can use the same bowl the chickpeas are in).

By now you probably need more ghee in the pan. Also add the other tsp. of curry and 1/2 tsp. salt. Stir in the onions to coat. Cook a few minutes until they get translucent and add the zucchini, stirring again. I like to let it sit and not stir too much so that it gets a little brown. Once the zucchini has almost softened to your liking, stir in the kale. About a minute later add the chickpeas and tofu back in and stir it all together. At this point, squeeze in the lemon juice and scrape some of the brown bits off the bottom of the skillet. Taste and add more salt if needed (depending on how salty your curry powder is). Let the whole thing warm up and mingle for a minute or two before taking it off the heat.

Transfer to a platter and serve.

serves 3-4

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