Saturday, September 23, 2006

September 23, 2006: Roasted potatoes, chickpeas, and spinach with spicy cashew sauce

One of reasons this blog continues to be updated so frequently is the limited social lives that Cindy and I have been living in Melbourne so far. Things are gradually improving, but this morning rolled around and we realised we had nothing better to do tonight than cook. So after a quick flick through the Bold Vegetarian book, we picked out tonight's recipe and headed off to the Queen Vic Markets. Both our trips to the markets so far have been in the midst of the crazy Saturday crowds and have made the whole experience a bit trying, but the glimpses we got of the antipasto and cheeses on the deli counters mean that we'll have to find a time to return when we can browse with a bit more leisure.

Anyway, onto the recipe.

Roasted potatoes, chickpeas, and spinach with spicy cashew sauce

1 kilogram small red potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
1/4 cup peanut oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 cinammon stick
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 chipotle pepper, chopped finely (the recipe wanted a jalepeno, but I thought it best to try to use up the chipotles )
2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup cashew butter (like peanut butter, with cashews! Who knew?)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
400ml vegetable stock
1 bunch spinach washed, stemmed and chopped coarsely

Stage 1 is to roast the potatoes for about 40 minutes. I'm still getting used to our oven here, so I checked and turned them about 8 times more than is stricly necessarily (i.e. once). Once the potatoes are almost done, toast the fennel, cumin and turmeric in a large saucepan for a couple of minutes. Before the spices start to burn, throw in the peanut oil, onion, garlic, ginger and chipotle and cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes. (Take the potatoes out of the oven about now if you haven't already!) Throw in the vegetable stock (we used prepackaged stock this time rather than go through the stock-making ordeal again), chickpeas, cashew butter and tomato paste and stir everything together. Simmer for another 5 minutes and then stir in the potatoes and spinach, cooking for a few more minutes, until the spinach has wilted and everything is well coated in the sauce.

Ideally you would probably serve this with rice or some sort of bread, but Saturday night apathy overtook us and we ate ours unaccompanied. The chipotle provided a much stronger kick than I'd imagined it would, but didn't overpower the variety of other flavours in the sauce. The roast potatoes were perfect (if I do say so myself) and the spinach and chickpeas allowed me to pretend I was eating a healthy meal and forget about all that cashew butter.



  1. Well here's a way to expand your eating life in Melbourne - join in on the inaugural pie review

    I need more vegetarians to hold up the non-meat end of the review :)

    BTW - this is open to all near and far and you don't have to write a blog to participate.

  2. One of the tastiest recipes I've EVER made. I included about a heaped tablespoon of peanut butter as well. It's going in with the favs.

  3. Hi catiscreative - we don't make this often but we always love it when we do. Glad you love it too. :-)