I always stock my pantry with an assortment of dried beans. They are cheap and last a long time, and I can cook amazingly delicious bean dishes that are rich in protein and fiber, and my family never miss eating meat at all when I prepare bean dishes.
This Thai chickpeas and kale curry is my absolute favorite dried beans recipe. This curry is simply bursting with flavors, and you can tailor it to work with the ingredients you have in your kitchen.
You can start with dried chickpeas or canned chickpeas. You can use Thai yellow curry paste instead of red curry paste. If your fridge is out of kale, you can use spinach. For an even more filling curry, feel free to add some diced sweet potatoes or butternut squash. And if cilantro is more your thing, you can use it instead of scallions.
Ingredients in this chickpeas and kale curry
For this curry, we will need chickpeas, kale, onion, tomatoes, Thai red curry paste, coconut milk, fish sauce, soy sauce, coconut palm sugar, scallions, and kaffir lime leaves.
Dried chickpeas vs. canned chickpeas
I have a love-hate relationship with canned chickpeas. On the one hand, they are already boiled and soft, so it is very easy and quick to cook if I start with canned chickpeas. On another hand, I hate lugging around heavy cans of chickpeas from my shopping trips when I essentially end up with the same amount of cooked beans in the end if I start with a much more compact and lighter packaged of dried chickpeas.
How to prepare dried chickpeas for cooking
When you start with dried chickpeas, you will need to soak them in a large mixing bowl filled with cold water overnight.
The next day, drain and rinse the beans, then transfer them into a pot topped with two inches of water.
Bring the beans to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and continue cooking for one hour, or until the beans are soft with split skins. Drain and set the boiled beans aside. We can now use them to prepare our curry.
Step-by-step to cook chickpeas and kale curry
First, heat oil in a wok/large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onion until translucent, add red curry paste and tomatoes, mix well. Add boiled chickpeas and mix well.
Stir in coconut milk, fish sauce, soy sauce, and coconut palm sugar. Mix and bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium and continue cooking until the sauce has reduced.
Once you are satisfied with the thickness of the curry, add chopped kale. Stir to mix and cook for 2 minutes.
Turn off the heat. Toss in scallions and kaffir lime leaves. Transfer to a serving plate and serve with steamed white rice.
Since this is a super versatile curry recipe, you can substitute some of the ingredients to work with what you have in your kitchen. Feel free to experiment with this recipe and come out with your very own winning combinations.
- Use any dried beans instead of chickpeas. You can always use canned beans instead of dried beans to save time.
- Use shallots instead of onion.
- Use canned tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes. You can even use tomato paste if you wish.
- Use Thai yellow curry paste instead of red curry paste.
- Use spinach instead of kale.
- Use cilantro instead of scallions.
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