Pantry Raid! Tomato and Red Curry Chickpeas Over Couscous


I LOVE pantry raid day. Essentially when I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel (read, pantry) for something to eat I feel the most inspired. Cooking under limitations and pressure can really force you to use your imagination and creativity —  my favorite method of cooking!

So, yesterday I was home sick from work and was wanting a steaming hot bowl of pho. Unfortunately my pantry does not contain Vietnamese cooks. I looked. Twice. After standing in front of the open doors for about 20 seconds I knew what I would make. Something hot and spicy was what the doctor ordered and staring me in the face was a can of red curry paste. Perfect.  I also found a can of crushed tomatoes as well as a can of chickpeas. I tend to have a plethora of grains/pastas but for this curry I wanted something quick-cooking so I pulled out the couscous. In the drawer of the fridge was half an onion. Chopped the onion, peeled some garlic cloves, and VOILA! Lunch.

The following recipe is the result of my madness so keep in mind I’m sick, on meds, and tired.  Also, the Pantry Raid does not always guarantee satisfactory results safe for consumption of the masses. When I am hungry and desperate I am the one eating it and there are times when the crazy concoction I whip up would never appeal to anyone with a normal palette.

I was cooking for  myself so I’m not sure of the real yield for the recipe but my guesstimate would be about 6 servings of the curried chickpeas and about 8 servings of couscous…yeah I made too much.

2/3  28 oz. can crushed tomatoes

1  15 oz. can chick peas

1/2 white or yellow onion thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic

olive oil

2 cups dry instant couscous (I used Moroccan)

1/2 small can 4 oz. red curry paste

1/4 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp 1cumin

2 bay leaves

dash of crushed red pepper

salt + pepper to taste

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  • saute onions in about 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • add garlic and cook until onions are transparent
  • boil 2 cups of water; drain chickpeas from can; add to boiling water
  • add tomatoes and red curry to onions and slightly reduce
  • add all of the spices to the tomato mixture
  • after the chickpeas have boiled for about 5 mins. strain from water and add to tomato mixture
  • let simmer
  • add couscous to the remaining boiling chickpea water; give a quick stir; turn off heat and immediately cover
  • couscous will steam for about 5-6 then fluff with fork
  • plate couscous then add the tomato curry mixture. If you choose to do so you can garnish it, serve with a green salad, or with bread which I have done. (Rosemary Boule recipe posted in ‘Breads’)
  • drizzle with olive oil

Enjoy! It’s pretty basic but I was very happy with the results and my roommate thought so too! I think the smoked paprika and cumin added a nice depth to the sauce while the curry definitely gave it the kick I was looking for. Very easy and all for free! (Well I can’t remember WHEN I bought those things so it’s free in my eyes)

p.s. I apologize for the ridiculous amounts of pictures. I get carried away!

One Response to “Pantry Raid! Tomato and Red Curry Chickpeas Over Couscous”
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  1. […] base of the recipe is very similar to the start of my ‘Tomato and Red Curry Chickpeas’ using canned, crushed tomatoes and red curry paste, and while this isn’t spinach from a can I […]

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