This meal is a perfect example of how a delicious and wholesome meal can be budget friendly. It’s easy to make and requires only ingredients from any the basic grocery store.
Eating Healthy On a Budget
Today I am starting a series “Eating Healthy On a Budget” sharing meals that you can make with ingredients costing under 2€. This series is especially designed for students and busy people who do not want to spend too much money or time to make meals, but still want to eat healthy. I have tried, tested, calculated and have come up with four recipes that I will be sharing on Fridays. All the recipes from the series use only ingredients from discount grocery stores (I got mine from Aldi) except chicken for one of the recipes (because I use halal).
About Today’s Recipe
Since I love curries, I wanted to come up with a recipe using only ingredients from basic grocery store, but that still tasted good. That meant that I couldn’t use my Indian shop spices, which was sure challenging. At Aldi, spices like turmeric and coriander are available, but very expensive. The spices in affordable price range had a very limited choice. I hesitantly picked up curry powder which I have never liked, having low hopes of it tasting good. But I realized that I wasn’t cooking it the right way earlier. When I added it at the right time and sautéed it long enough, my curry came out really good. I did add one more basic spice that’s paprika (the spicy version), because red chili powder wasn’t available. Both these spices, along with some other basic ingredients made a really flavourful curry that is now often going to be on my weekly menu.
A Great Choice of Meal For Bulk Cooking
This recipe allows for freezing and refrigerating, making it a good choice for bulk cooking. I always make double the quantity than I need so I can freeze half of it and take it out later when needed. In the fridge it holds for up to 3 days, and in the freezer it can be stored for up to 6 weeks. I would suggest to store the quinoa and curry separately to preserve the texture.
Ingredients with Cost Breakdown
Note: The costs mentioned here pertains to the quantities added into the meal made for 2 persons. (salt is not included)
Watch the video to follow the instructions easily
Chickpeas, Spinach and Potatoes Curry with Quinoa
For the curry:
- 1 medium (100 grams) onion
- 2 cloves (10 grams) garlic
- 4 medium (250 grams) potatoes
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
- ½ cup (250 grams) tomato puree
- 2 tsp (5 grams) curry powder
- 2 tsp paprika powder (spicy)
- 1 tsp (3 grams) salt
- 1 can (400 grams) chickpeas
- 1 cup (250 grams) frozen spinach (chopped) (or fresh spinach, chopped)
- 1 ½ cup (300 ml) water
For the quinoa:
- ½ cup (100 grams) quinoa
- ½ tsp (1.5 grams) salt
- 1 cup (200 ml) water
For the curry:
- Dice the onion. Finely chop the garlic. Dice the potatoes in bite sized pieces.
- Put a pot on medium heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the chopped onion and garlic. Sauté for about 2 minutes until the onion just starts to turn brown on the edges.
- Add the tomato puree, curry powder, paprika powder and salt. Turn heat on medium low. Sauté and cook for about 3-4 minutes until oil appears on the surface. Add splashes of water if the mixture starts to stick onto the bottom.
- Drain and wash the chickpeas. Add it to the pot, along with the potatoes, spinach and water. Mix well. Turn heat on low. Cover and let cook for 30 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
For the quinoa:
- You can do this step while the curry cooks. Add the quinoa into a fine mesh sieve and wash it under running water for about a minute. This helps to remove the upper bitter layer of the quinoa. Let all the water drain out and then transfer to a pot.
- Add the salt and water. Bring it to a boil.
- Turn heat to low and cover with a lid. Let it cook for 15 minutes.
- Once the quinoa is done, you can fluff it with a fork immediately if you like a grainy consistency.
- Add the quinoa to a plate. Pour the curry over it and enjoy!
- The given quantities make enough for two super hungry adults.
- If you have leftovers, you can store in an airtight container into the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to 6 weeks.
- You can reduce all the ingredients in half or double it up to adjust the quantity of the meal.