There are so many ways to serve this dish. Keep it vegan like this and throw together a crisp green salad, or sauté some lovely seasonal wild mushrooms in garlic and toss them on the top. Or you could add a poached egg, or a grilled lamb chop, or a pan-fried piece of fish and a poached egg, or some fried halloumi or plantain. There really are seemingly endless possibilities.
Serves 4-5 people
For the coconut curried chickpeas
white onion 1 medium, thinly sliced
garlic 9 cloves, blitzed together with a little oil to a puree
scotch bonnet chilli ½ (or 2 whole bird’s eye chillies) finely chopped (adjust according to how hot you want it, ie a whole scotch bonnet will be very hot in this ratio, ½ will give you medium heat, 1 bird’s eye will be mild, 2 will be medium to high heat)
whole green cardamom pods 5g
whole star anise 3g
whole allspice 5g
whole cloves 2g
cinnamon stick 8g
chickpeas 2 x 400g tins, drained
bay leaves 2
coconut milk 1 tin
chicken stock 250ml (or vegetable stock to keep it vegan)
baby spinach 100g
For the roast spiced ground provision
parsnip 150g, diced
sweet potato 150g, diced
pumpkin 150g, deseeded and diced
celeriac 150g, diced (keep the diced vegetables in a bowl of cold water with the juice of a lemon to stop them going brown)
curry powder 15g (any kind – I used Caribbean but any that you favour will do)
ground cumin 5g
ground coriander 5g
ground turmeric 5g
maple syrup 50ml
salt a pinch
For the green dressing
fresh coriander 20g
flat-leaf parsley 20g
spring onions 2
garlic 2 cloves
lime juice of 1
cold-pressed rapeseed oil 200ml
maple syrup 5ml
salt a pinch
Preheat the oven to 150C fan/gas mark 3½. For the curried chickpeas, gently soften the onion and garlic until lightly golden, add the scotch bonnet (or chilli of choice) and soften for around 4 minutes or so.
Grind all the chickpea spices (except the cinnamon stick) in a pestle and mortar or spice mill and tip them into the onion mix. Add the cinnamon stick and lightly sauté over a low heat stirring intermittently and very gently for 10 minutes.
Add the chickpeas, bay leaves, coconut milk and stock, and simmer for 30 minutes stirring very gently and occasionally – you just want to make sure it’s not sticking to the bottom. If it’s getting too thick splash in a little more stock. You want the mix to flow quite freely with a good amount of sauce and not become too claggy.
After 30 minutes add the baby spinach and stir through.
For the ground provision, parboil all the diced vegetables in a large pan of boiling salted water for about 7 minutes, drain immediately, leave to cool for 15 minutes and transfer to a roasting tin. Stir through the spices, add a liberal splash of rapeseed oil, sprinkle with good sea salt, and slip into an oven for 35-40 minutes until they have a nice crust on them.
Add the maple syrup and stir through. Return to the oven at 170C fan/gas mark 5 and blast for a further 15 minutes.
Lastly, blitz together the green dressing ingredients in a food processor with a sprinkle of salt and transfer to a bottle or jar.
To serve, spoon a third of the roasted roots into the pot of curried chickpeas and gently stir through. Ladle the curry on to a big serving platter or plate. Spoon the rest of the roots into the middle, then drizzle the green dressing around the dish.
Andi Oliver is a chef, broadcaster and food writer