Updated: Nov 14, 2020
This is such a beautiful dish that I always double it and keep several containers in the freezer. I eat it in an incredibly indulgent fashion with a splodge of yoghurt and hot buttered pita bread. I have to acknowledge my dearly departed mother-in-law for introducing me to this recipe. She lives on in all sorts of areas of our lives. The original recipe is by Annabel Langbein, from her book 'Free Range in the City'.
2 Tbsp neutral oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp chilli flakes/mild chilli powder
½ tsp fennel seeds, optional
400 g tinned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
200g haloumi cheese, or firm paneer, cut into 1-2cm chunks
1 Tbsp tomato paste (called puree in the UK)
1 tsp brown sugar
1 can cherry tomatoes, or chopped tomatoes approx 400g, in juice
5 handfuls baby spinach, approx. 130-150g; alternatively use roughly chopped spinach leaves
2 Tbsp Greek yoghurt
You will want to make this all the time. I'm sure it could be made vegan with some firm tofu to replace the haloumi.
In a medium pot, heat oil and sizzle garlic, cumin, chilli and fennel seeds, if using, for a few seconds. Add chickpeas and haloumi or paneer and cook 2-3 minutes to infuse spice flavours.
Stir in tomato paste, then add sugar and canned tomatoes in their juice.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and simmer gently for 3-5 minutes. Add spinach, cover with a lid and cook until spinach has wilted (about 2 minutes).
Stir in yoghurt just before serving, or serve it on the side as a garnish.