This recipe was a total accident. I was having an Indian takeout lunch and my friend ordered a spinach curry dish cooked in coconut milk and garbanzo beans. It was delicious, and inspired to use those same ingredients and make something similar at home. I had coconut milk, garbanzo beans and curry in my pantry, as well as a bag of fresh spinach and some tilapia fillets in my fridge. I started out with the stew, and while that was simmering, I seasoned the tilapia with some curry powder, salt, pepper and lemon juice and popped it in the oven. The result was incredible! Since then, iv'e been making this over and over again, sometimes poaching chicken in the sauce instead of the fish. This is also great for vegetarians. For the record, it tasted nothing like that Indian dish, and the flavors are really more Thai, but who cares?
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tbs coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
1 bag fresh spinach (11oz)
3 tsp yellow curry powder (if you use paste, start with less and add more as needed)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fish sauce (optional, but adds great flavor)
1 tsp corn starch
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp honey
1 lime, juiced
pinch red pepper flakes
For the Fish:
2-4 fillets of tilapia (or any white fish of your choice)
2 tsp curry
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup lemon or lime juice
Fresh cracked black pepper
1. In a wide pan or pot with a lid, sauté the onion and red pepper flakes in the coconut oil until translucent.
2. Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, onion powder and turmeric and stir for a minute. Add the garbanzo beans and a can of coconut milk.
3. Reduce the heat and gently let it come to a boil.
4. In a small bowl, stir the cornstarch with 3-4 tbs of water to make a slurry. Add to the pot and let it simmer a few more minutes (this will make the sauce thicker)
5. Add the fish sauce, the honey and 1/2 tsp of salt and taste. Add the rest of the salt to taste.
6. Add the fresh spinach to the pot. Do this in batches and slowly. The volume will seem like a lot, but it will wilt down. With a wooden spoon, pack the spinach to make room for more. Cover the pot to let it wilt down.
7. Rub the fish fillets with the curry, salt and pepper and lime juice on both sides.
8. Place the fish on a baking tray lined with parchment (or sprayed with oil) and place into a pre heated oven at 400F (or 180C) for 12 minutes or so.
9. Open the lid to stir the stew. The spinach should have wilted enough to get it all combined. Add the lime juice and taste.
10. Plate the fish on a plate and spoon the stew over it. Serve with white rice.