Jardaloo Ma Murghi (Curry With Apricots) 87p for 4 portions, or 22p each.
This is my favourite curry, my go to, my easy but perfect comfort food. I used to make this with turkey, which at £1.75 for a 600g drumstick would serve four people easily (pre-roast the drumstick and just peel it off the bone), or do as I do now, and make it with chickpeas instead. Which makes it deliciously, wholesomely vegan.
100g dried chickpeas, 22p (£1.09/500g)
1 onion, 5p (part of a 1.25kg veg pack avg 20 pieces)
1 clove garlic, 3p (2 bulbs for 46p, avg 8 cloves each)
1 carton chopped tomatoes, 31p
5 apricots/1/3 of a 411g can, 20p (59p/411g)
Fresh coriander, free (window ledge)
Vegetable stock cube, 2p (15p for 10)
Shake of cumin, 2p (80p/46g jar)
1 chilli, free (window ledge)
Splash of vegetable oil, 2p (£4.50/3 litres)
First, pop your chickpeas in a bowl of cold water to soak, either overnight or first thing in the morning. They need at least 8 hours soaking time!
1. Drain your chickpeas and rinse them vigorously to get rid of the stagnant water that they’ll have been sitting in.
2. Pop them in some fresh water in a saucepan, and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for a good ten minutes to boil out any toxins. (This sounds over cautious but believe me it’s necessary!)
3. Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the onion and garlic, and finely chop the chilli. Add to a saucepan with a splash of oil and a shake of cumin, and cook gently on a low heat. Allow the onions to ‘sweat’, not brown. If they burn, the burnt taste will permeate through your whole curry. If they sweat, they will add a delicious sweetness.
4. Chop the apricots into small chunks and add to the onion/garlic/chilli mixture with any juice from the can. Put the rest of the apricots in a bowl, cover and pop in the fridge to snack on, or make something else with tomorrow (recipes naturally to follow, seeing I have done just this!)
5. By this time, the chickpeas should have vigorously boiled all of their toxins out! Reduce down to a simmer.
6. Pour the chopped tomatoes over the apricots and onions, and add finely chopped coriander and
a crumbled stock cube and stir in.
7. Reduce the heat to a low setting, and allow to cook gently for at least 30 minutes. This thickens the sauce and melds the flavours together – if chopped finely enough, the onions will disappear as they thicken the sweet spicy sauce. You may need to add a cup of water to the sauce if it starts to thicken too much.
8. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and tip into the sauce. Stir through.
9. Serve! Can be served with rice (40p for 1kg bag = 3p per 75g portion* put on to boil 20 minutes before serving).
It’s also absolutely delicious cold the next day in a pitta bread for lunch…
Keeps in the fridge for two to three days, and freezes well, if there’s any left!
Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe
*(All prices quoted are Sainsburys or Sainsburys Basics where available, correct at time of publication. Costs checked against ASDA SmartPrice, Tesco Value, Morrisons Value and Waitrose Essentials ranges. Some variation between spermarkets but most items widely available at similar prices.)