There is something so grounding and soul satisfying about eating a curry or any Indian dish for that matter . Maybe it’s the abundant use of earthy spices. Maybe it’s the time and care it takes to make Indian dishes. Maybe it’s the complexity of the flavour. Maybe it’s because the cuisine dates back over 8,000 years and marries British and Portuguese influences. But whatever the reason may be, Indian cuisine is absolutely delicious and nourishing! At least that’s how we feel about it in my house…
I was inspired to make this dish by looking at the ingredients I already had on hand. This is my new starting point when meal prepping for the week. I used to spend time drafting a menu, starting off with what I wanted to cook/bake first, then making my grocery list, detailing all the ingredients I needed to buy and lastly looking in my cupboards and fridge to see what I already had on hand.
Lately, I’ve decided to reverse the process as my cupboards are bursting at the seams with unused ingredients and my fridge is always way too full for my liking. So now, I search for inspiration in my own kitchen and go from there. I can’t tell you how much time and money I’ve saved by proceeding this way. And how much more fun the whole process has been…
I’ve made it into a challenge with myself: what can I come up with that is nourishing, easy to make and delicious. My son and husband are the critics to this challenge. Luckily for me, they are easy critics! Hahahaha
So I looked into my cupboard and found a can of full fat coconut milk (love that stuff!), a can of chickpea and a bag of couscous. Then I walked over to my spice rack and the indian curry powder caught my eye. I was on to something…
A quick look into my fridge and I grabbed sweet potatoes (not a surprising find there, I always have those on hand), fresh ginger, onions and fresh cilantro. Done. These ingredients were going to turn into a delectable sweet and spicy indian chickpea curry. And no need to go to the grocery store. Even better. And this could all be put together in no time. Gold.
The key ingredient in this dish are the sweet potatoes which bring sweetness to balance out the spiciness of the curry and texture to balance out the creaminess of the coconut milk. This dish was a huge hit in my family as I’m sure it will be in yours.
Now before we move on to the curry recipe, I wanted to dig a bit deeper into the anchor concept I presented to you guys in my previous post (if you haven’t read it yet, you can read it here).
After publishing the post, a friend of mine called me to asked how she could define her own anchor. She’s already eating a plant based diet, but she wanted to define her anchor for something else that is going on in her life. She liked the concept and felt it could really help her with what she wanted to accomplish.
She knew relying on willpower wouldn’t be enough. She knew she needed something stronger to keep her grounded and focused. She knew she needed an anchor. She just didn’t know how to define it.
It got me thinking that maybe some of you feel the same way and you also need guidance onto how to define your own personal anchor.
So what is a personal anchor: it’s something that holds a special power because of it’s importance to you. Something that goes above and beyond the simple will or want to do something or achieve something. A personal anchor is powerful because it comes from you and is rooted in you.
So how do you define your personal anchor?
Here are the steps I’ve taken to identify my own personal anchors (you can have more then one anchor. ) Know that anchors can change over time and it’s ok to revisit them every once in a while. Know also that identifying them requires inner work that will demand some soul searching on your part so it’s best to follow these steps when you have some quiet time set aside and you can focus and be connected to yourself.
- Prepare your work place and have pen and paper on hand.
- Take a few minutes to breath deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- Close your eyes as you breath to really connect to yourself.
- Once you feel connected, open your eyes and start writing.
- Don’t over think this and just let your pen write
- Start by writing what you love about yourself. Write as much as you want. If you feel you have nothing to write, start small like you love your eyes, your nails, the colour of your hair, the way you smile… The point is for you to feel love for yourself.
- Then write what you value most in your life like your children, your dog/cat, your comfortable home, your friends
- Lastly, write down what you want to achieve.
Write as much as you want. Don’t stop yourself. Let your inner voice guide your writing.
Once you’re done. Set the pen down and close your eyes for a few minutes. Pat yourself on the back for going through with this exercise. When you’re ready to open your eyes, read through everything you wrote and combine your thoughts.
Here’s an example from my anchor work:
- what I Iove about myself: I’m compassionate
- what I value most in my life: my family
- what I want to achieve: eat less sugar (quite difficult when you’re job is partly food blogging!)
- The resulting anchor: my family and the compassion I choose to show myself.
So when I am faced with a challenge: like a decadent carrot cake I just baked. I simply remind myself that I decided to quit sugar for myself, because I love myself, and for my family, because I love my family and I want to be healthy to enjoy my life with them. Love is at the basis of my anchor. Love for myself and love for my family. And when I remember my anchor, I feel that love and it is at the base of what allows me to achieve what I set out to do.
Try the exercise and let me know how it’s help you identify your personal anchor. Just click on the title of this post and write your comment at the bottom post, in the comment section.
And now that your soul is nourished, let’s nourish your belly. On to the recipe…
- 1 can (398 ml) of full fat coconut milk
- 1 can (398 ml) chickpeas
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 inch fresh ginger
- 2 Tbs indian curry powder
- 3 medium size sweet potatoes
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 2 Cups of water
- 1 1/2 Cup couscous
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Peel and cube the sweet potatoes, dice the onion, finely chop the ginger and cilantro.
- In a large pot, add the the sweet potatoes and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes.
- Strain the potatoes and set aside.
- In the meantime, melt the coconut oil in a deep sauce pan over medium high heat.
- Add the diced onion and cook for 3 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the curry spices.
- Stir for 1 minute. Be careful not to burn the spices.
- Add 1/2 cup of water and stir.
- Add the coconut milk and chopped ginger pieces.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Add the sweet potatoes.
- With a potato masher mash some of the sweet potatoes in the coconut milk but leave some pieces whole.
- Add the chickpeas and cilantro and stir. Remove from heat.
- Allow flavours to marry for another 10-15 mins.
- While the flavours marry, in the same pot you cooked the sweet potatoes in, add 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.
- Add the couscous and remove from heat. Allow to cook for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
- Serve the curry over the couscous.