Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Garlic, Chilli and Parmesan Flatbread

This is a far superior garlic bread than the sort you can buy ready made, with a focaccia base and the added bonuses of chilli and cheese. I do like the 'normal' sort of garlic bread, when it is homemade and a generous hand has spread the garlic-parsley butter between each slice of baguette. It's certainly the best way of transforming the reduced French sticks at supermarket closing time. This version takes a little more time as you are making the dough from scratch, but it hardly takes any more effort, just a little mixing and kneading. The common factor is the butter, and it is important for delectable garlic bread. Although this doesn't quite constitute a meal, it is just the sort of thing that goes down well to eat while watching a film, or just having drinks and conversation with friends.

For the dough:
300g strong white bread flour
1/2 sachet yeast (about 1 1/2 tsp)
tsp salt
300ml warm water
2 tbsp olive oil
To top:
50g unsalted butter, very soft
2 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped or crushed
2 tablespoons Parmesan, grated
pinch chilli flakes
pinch sea salt

Combine the flour, salt and dough in a large mixing bowl. Mix the water and oil in a measuring jug, and pour into the dry ingredients. Mix to make a dough. Knead for 5 minutes, adding more flour if necessary.  It should be a soft elastic dough. Leave to rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 200C. Flour a 20cm x 30cm baking sheet. When the dough has risen, punch down it down and knead again, for about a minute. With a rolling pin, your hands, or a combination of both, flatte the dough to a rectangle that fits the baking sheet, it should be about 1/2cm thick. Leave to rise for another 30 minutes. Mean while, mix together the butter, garlic, chilli, Parmesan and salt. When the 30 minutes is up, spread the flavoured butter all over the surface of the dough. Bake for around 25 minutes, until it is golden. Best enjoyed while still hot, or at least warm

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Almond and Orange Blossom Barfi

Barfi, or burfi, is a sweet made with condensed milk from India, like all Indian sweets they are tooth achingly sugary. They are also very delicious, but even I can only eat one or two. I have been meaning to try making all the different Indian sweets that I love so much for a while now, and Barfi seemed like a good starting point as it is a fairly straightforward recipe. My favourite sweet is the gulab jamun, a deep fried ball of milk powder saturated in a rose flavoured syrup, which I will make, once I feel confident with enough other recipes.
I love the taste of almonds with orange blossom water, which is more of a Middle Eastern combination than an Indian one. I added a few drops to the barfi mix after cooking it, but if you want to keep it traditional, just leave it out. The recipe I used came from Mamta's Kitchen, a website with a huge collection of recipes, everything I've cooked from there has been fantastic. If you like or want to learn about cooking authentic Indian food it's a real find.

400g condensed milk
200g ground almonds
20 blanched almonds, roughly chopped
few drops almond essence
1 tsp orange blossom water
Extra blanched almonds, to decorate.

Grease a swiss roll tin. Put the condensed milk, ground almonds, chopped almonds and almond essence in a saucepan. Cook over a medium heat, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon. The mixture is quite stiff, but persevere. When the mix starts pulling away from the sides in one mass as you stir it, it is ready. Off the heat, beat in the orange blossom water. Transfer the barfi mix to the greased tin. I found this easiest by spooning it in, and then smoothing it all down with a knife. I also only used about half the length of the swiss roll tin, making the sweets about 1cm thick. At this point I pressed in some more blanched almonds to decorate. Leave the barfi to cool. When the mixture has set, cut it into squares or diamonds. Lift out of the tin carefully to store.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

The Ice Cream that wasn't.

Every now and then something goes unrescuably wrong in the kitchen, and I think I take it harder than most. Cooking is one of the few things I feel competent at, so when things don't turn out the way they are meant to I have to force myself to try and get some perspective and learn from it instead of mulling it over for days. My most recent disaster happened this week. I decided to attempt to make a different flavoured version of Nigella's no-churn pomegranate ice cream, a dessert I have made before and been really pleased with the outcome. I also arguably improved it, with a touch of pomegranate molasses, just to really make to flavour stand out. It seemed perfectly reasonable to assume that because this recipe worked with pomegranate juice that it would work with other fruit juices, namely passionfruit.

I had high hopes for a creamy passion fruit icecream, and was rather disappointed when it came out of the freezer rock-hard. There was no middle point, when I hopefully placed in the fridge, it left me with a runny passionfruit mess. Then I contemplate the various reasons why it didn't work and I blame myself, Nigella Lawson and the Australian dairy industry for not making good cream more readily available*. And perhaps the passionfruit as well. As well as the general feeling of failure, the other kicker is the waste. Time wise, I lost very little as the recipe is so simple. You just whip the cream with the juice, a little icing sugar and freeze. But then there's the ice cream itself, I turned perfectly nice fruit and cream into something inedible. It certainly wasn't the cheapest dish to get wrong.

On the other hand, at least I know now that it doesn't work. There is always something to be gained from mistakes, even if it is a tiny bit of knowledge and material for a blog post.

For a recipe involving cream and passionfruit that does work, I suggest a tropical take on Eton Mess. Softly whip some cream, and sweeten with icing sugar. Fold in crumbled meringue and some ripe passionfruit pulp. You will want the cream sweeter than a regular Eton Mess, as the fruit is so sour. Serve in pretty glass bowls, preferably the sort that requires a long handled sundae spoon.

*In the supermarkets I have only seen whipping cream, and thickened cream, which has gelatine in it. I miss the thick, extra thick, Jersey and clotted varieties that I could buy at home.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Better Breakfasts: American Pancakes, Crispy Bacon and Maple Syrup

During the week, I'm not a breakfast person. I'm well aware that there is nothing to be gained from skipping the first (and most important) meal of the day. But my love of sleep is basically on par with my love of eating, so if I can sacrifice morning routine for 10 minutes extra in bed, then the snooze button will often win. For me, there's no joy in half consciously spooning cereal from bowl to mouth anyway.
On a day off or a weekend, I love a good breakfast, and not just the alcohol sponging full English, although that ranks pretty highly. I love this US answer to the fry up: super thin and crispy bacon, thick spongy pancakes all brought together with a drenching of warmed maple syrup.

As there are only 3 elements to this, it's important to get them right. The bacon must be streaky, and grilled or fried until it is snappable. I'm not usually a lover of cremated bacon, with back bacon I like it cooked until it is touching upon crispy, and any element of flabbiness is removed, but no more. For this, well done is the only way. The pancakes should be freshly made and the syrup warmed. I'd definitely recommend drafting someone into lend a hand. Nothing is difficult, it just all requires last minute attention. They can look after the bacon while you get on with the pancakes or vice-versa. Anyway, unless you want to eat a huge pile of pancakes, the smallest batch of pancake batter makes enough for at least two people. I used the recipe for American pancakes from the BBC Food website. It works very well, although I feel both obliged and reticent to tell the reader that the suggested 4-6 people it served easily fed two of us.

Here's Agent Dale Cooper to explain just why this works so well.

Now all you need is coffee- black- and you're all set.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Soft and Chewy Maple-Pecan Cookies

This is an adaptation of a recipe for maple pecan cookies I found online. I left out the suggested imitation maple extract as I don't think that's available to me, and used milk instead of orange juice. Even without the maple flavouring they were still identifiable as maple cookies from the syrup alone, just more subtly I suppose. I wasn't sure about orange juice-I just don't think there is any need for a citrus element, which is why I made the milk substitution. 
I found these really addictive, especially the ones I ate as soon as they were cool enough not to burn my mouth

170g unsalted butter
250g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
60ml pure maple syrup
1 large egg
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
85g cup caster sugar
70g dark brown sugar
150g pecans

Preheat the oven to 180C and line two baking sheets. Coarsely chop the pecans, and toast over a medium heat them in a non-oiled frying pan. Stop when they start releasing their scent. Set aside to cool down- take the nuts out of the frying pan or they will continue to cook in the heat. 
Melt the butter, and allow this to cool too. Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir in the pecans. Once the butter is tepid, beat in the egg, milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract and then the sugars. Pour the liquid ingredients into the floury mix, and stir so it is all combined. The mixture will be wetter than most other cookie batters. Drop teaspoonfuls onto the baking sheets. The  mixture will spread out in the oven, so give them about 3cm space between each unbaked cookie. Bake for 12-14 minutes. They should be quite pale, only just turning golden at the edges. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Anchovy, Black Olive and Gruyère Scones

There's been a lot of sweetness on this blog recently, giving me cravings to make something resolutely savoury. This isn't a recipe where the anchovies melt mellowly into the background, so if you don't like salty little fishes, this is not a recipe for you. All the flavourings work together, but they stand out individually too making the scones rather addictive.
The basic scone recipe is from Nigella's How to be a Domestic Goddess, an apt title for scone-making. It uses 4.5 tsp of cream of tartar which seems a lot, but it makes them come out incredibly light. Like in pastry making, gentle handling of the dough is required to avoid heaviness. You could use a freestanding mixer to work the butter into the flour, but there are so few stages in the recipe I'd feel I was excluding myself from making them. For me, it doesn't seem quite right, not making scones by hand. They have a charming old-fashionedness to them that doesn't sit with electrical appliances, even with this more modern take on them. I have the same attitude to making cakes and crumble topping, but not with pastry, where the sharp steel blades of a food processor do a better job than my hot little hands ever could.
 I think these make a nice weekend lunch if you are pottering around at home with the urge to bake something. With some butter and more Gruyère, maybe a few cherry tomatoes on the side, you've got the makings of a nice little meal. On colder days, these would be fantastic to have on the side of a bowl of soup.

500g plain flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
4 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
75g unsalted butter OR 50g unsalted butter + 25g vegetable shortening, cubed
40g (about 12) black olives, stoned and chopped
100g grated gruyere
6 anchovy fillets, drained (or desalted) and chopped
300ml milk
1 egg, beaten, for glazing

Preheat the oven to 220C and line a baking tray. Sift together the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar. Rub in the fat with your fingertips until you have a mixture resembling breadcrumbs. Mix in the anchovies, olives and cheese, and then stir in the milk. Just mix it enough so it just combines- when the dough starts coming together, press it into a ball with the palms of your hands. Place the dough on a floured surface, and roll out to 2.5cm height. Cut out rounds with a 5cm pastry cutter. Place gently on the baking tray and brush each of them with the beaten egg. Bake for around 15 minutes, till risen and golden.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Nigella's Sticky Toffee Pudding

I had consigned myself to make pudding for a gathering of 17 last week, and didn't want to have to make lots of dishes to make sure there was enough. I settled on making two, this New York cheesecake, and an industrial-sized version of Nigella Lawson's Easy Sticky Toffee Pudding. There are very few people who dislike sticky toffee pudding, and it's got universal age-appeal.

Usually this wouldn't be a dish to make for lots of people, tapping out oven-hot mini pudding basins to order is certainly not my idea of fun. So you make life easier for yourself by making one large one, to be dished generously out. You don't get the prettiness of having perfectly moulded individual puddings, but that's the benefit over home over restaurant cooking, no one minds or even notices. Not that it's unattractive, just more homely than haute cuisine.

Not only does the simplicity of making this appeal to me, it's unlikeliness does too.You make a not especially interesting sponge batter, speckled with some dates, pour over a ridiculous amount of sugar, and drown the whole thing in boiling water. The liquidy mess goes into the oven for 45 minutes and comes out transformed.Even though the recipe told me not to be alarmed by its appearance, I still had my doubts, the idea that it might come out edible seems so improbable. But something magical (or chemical) happens during its time baking, the layers switch places, and you have a spongey top and a thick toffee sauce underneath.

I definitely want to experiment with this method. Self-saucing lemon and chocolate versions are pretty common, but I think there is some scope for innovation. I've got my sights set on a maple and pecan version next.

175g self raising flour
100g muscovado sugar
125ml full-fat milk
1 egg
50g unsalted butter, milk
200g dates, stoned and chopped
To top:
200g muscovado sugar
25g unsalted butter, cut into little pieces
500ml boiling water

Preheat the oven to 190C, and butter a 1.5 litre pudding dish. Mix the flour and 100g muscovado sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat the milk, egg and melted butter together in a mixing bowl and stir this into the dry ingredients. Fold the dates in. Pour the mix into the dish and spread the top with the sugar, you'll have a good layer of it. Dot with the butter. Now drown the entire thing in the water, and place (carefully) in the oven. Don't worry about how it looks. Bake for 45 minutes, by which time the top will be spongy and risen with a melting sauce underneath.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

New York Cheesecake

I'll get the sad truth out of the way first. This is not a recipe I have come up with, or even adapted. It is from Good Food magazine and I wouldn't dream of tweaking it even a little, as much as I love to fiddle around with recipes. It doesn't need flourishes, it's perfect as it is. The recipe is from Angela Nilson's Ultimate series, which is about her search to make the best version of a chosen dish. Obviously, perfection is subjective but every dish I have made from the series has become my ultimate version too, and are mentally catalogued in my head as failsafe recipes to be repeated whenever possible.

I looked up the recipe online recently, and came across a new version of it by the same author. She, or someone who is in charge at the Good Food magazine felt that it wasn't enough for it to be the ultimate cheesecake, it had to be a health food too. I used to be a regular reader of the magazine several years ago, but my interest petered out as the recipes became less about pleasurable cooking and eating and more about fitting each dish into the allowed levels of fat, sodium and calories. Yes, eating healthily is important, and I wouldn't advocate rich meals everyday. It's important to look after your body. But if I want a light pudding I'll eat fruit, perfect as it is,  instead of a shadow of a recipe.

Well, I could be wrong. A quick glance at the reviews tells me that the lighter version is popular, perhaps even preferable. Really I should make a version, if only out of academic interest. But the thought of making this when I could be having the original version seems such a waste.The point is missing. The only flavourings in New York Cheesecake are gentle hints of lemon and vanilla, so texture is key. How can you get the same unctuousness, the same mouth filling richness when you are removing the elements that make it so, i.e. the fat? Making the new version will save you 204 calories, but you'll lose out on the full fat experience. Over time, those extra calories won't count for anything. But if it bothers you,why not just do a few extra lengths in the swimming pool?

I could just post a link to the recipe, but I fear one day the page will be taken down and all we'll have left is a recipe for Cheesecake Lite. So just as much for me as you, I'll reproduce it here in my own words.
It's important you let the cream cheese, eggs and 200ml of the sour cream come to room temperature before you start, so take them put of the fridge about 2 hours before hand. Yesterday I made it for the first time without a freestanding mixer, as directed in the recipe. An electric hand whisk was my alternative, I've never made it using man power alone. It takes a lot of beating and whisking, so if you don't own either of these, first of all see if someone will lend you one. If not, make it with a friend so you can share the labour. If you cook with people around, someone will claim they want to help, so give them something to do.

For the base:
140g digestive biscuits
85g unsalted butter
1 tbsp caster sugar

For the filling:
900g full fat cream cheese
250g caster sugar
3 tbsp plain flour
pinch salt
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
284ml  tub sour cream

For the topping:
142 ml sour cream
1 tbsp caster sugar
2 tsp lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line and grease a 23cm springform cake tin.

Crush the digestive biscuits to crumbs. You can use a food processor, or if you don't have one/ can't be bothered with the washing up, put the biscuits in a bowl and bash with the end of a rolling pin- it takes surprisingly little effort. Mix in the sugar. Melt the butter and mix into the biscuit crumbs. Press the mix over the base of the tin evenly. Bake for 10 minutes and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Turn the heat of the oven to 200C. Beat the cream cheese, either with the paddle attachment of a freestanding mixer, or with a wooden spoon. If you ignored the instruction to let it come to room temperature, you'll be regretting it now, especially if doing it by hand. Beat until it is creamy, about 2 minutes if using a mixer. Gradually beat in the sugar, then the salt and flour.

Switch the paddle attachment to the whisk, if using a mixer. If you are using a hand whisk, electric or otherwise, start using it now. Add the vanilla, lemon zest and juice, whisking in. Add the eggs and yolk one at a time, whisking after each addition. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl, do it twice after you add each egg. Beat in 200ml of the sour cream, and reserve the rest for the topping. When it is ready, the batter should be smooth, light and creamy.

Put the cake tin on a baking sheet. Pour the cheesecake mixture in, smoothing the top with a knife. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 110C and bake for a further 25 minutes. Turn the oven off, and leave the cheesecake in there for 2 hours. If you like a creamier texture, open the oven door. The surface may crack a little, but you are topping it later so don't worry about it.

Combine the reserved sour cream plus the 142ml tub with the sugar and lemon juice. Spread on top of the cheesecake evenly. Cover with foil, and allow to set in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight. Before you serve, run a knife round the edges of the cheesecake to loosen any parts stuck to the tin. Slide the base of the tin away from the crust.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

St Clements Muffins

I'd rather eat a muffin then a cupcake, as the latter tend to come with more sugary decoration than sponge. Recipes for muffins tend to focus more on creating something that is good to eat as opposed to just look at. Muffins also have the benefit of being a socially accepted breakfast foodstuff, even though it is just cake.
This is an adaptation of Nigella's Orange Breakfast Muffins. Here I have sharpened them with the addition of lemon, which I prefer to orange alone, and filled them with orange curd. Lemon curd is a perfectly lovely variation. And you can eat them any time of day, breakfast or otherwise.

75g unsalted butter
250g self raising flour
25g almonds
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
75g caster sugar
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon
1 egg
50ml fresh orange juice
50ml fresh lemon juice
100ml full fat milk
12 tsp orange or lemon curd

Preheat your oven to 200 C, and line a 12 bun muffin in with cases or brush with melted butter. Melt the butter, and allow to cool a little. Combine the flour, almonds, bicarbonate, baking powder sugar and zests in a mixing bowl. In a measuring jug, whisk the egg, juice, melted butter and milk together, then pour into the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir very gently to create a lumpy mix. Be as light handed as you can, overbeating makes for heavy muffins.
Put a spoonful of muffin batter in each section of the tin, just to cover the base. Put a spoonful of curd on top, then top up each with the remaining mix. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden.
Best eaten on the day they are made, best of all when they are warm.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Thai Yellow Curry Paste

If I have red and green curry paste recipes here, I had to have a yellow one too. I've taken my time about making one, because I've only just got my chance to use fresh turmeric. When I was living in Leamington Spa, it would appear from time to time in KL Oriental, the Thai Supermarket, but I was always shopping for something else and it would have probably been wasted. There's a huge Oriental supermarket not too far away from where I'm living now, which sells anything you could possibly need for South East Asian cookery, so I now have a ready supplier of the rhizome. The fresh root is far removed from the garishly yellow dried turmeric. Instead of the bitter earth flavours usually associated with turmeric, it smells fresh and almost lavender-like.

After doing some online research, I found lots of recipes do just use dried turmeric, so if you can't get hold of the fresh stuff, maybe just replace it with a teaspoon of dried. My version is an amalgamation of various other yellow curry paste recipes, aiming for something as authentic and delicious as possible. I find that yellow curries are similar red, but milder, so I increased the spices to keep it interesting. The result is quite different from the fiery, fresher green curry.

If you have a decent food processor, this couldn't be simpler. If you have a less than brilliant one, you may need to be a bit more involved by turning off the machine from time to time to scrape down the sides. If you are having trouble, try blending half the ingredients. Once that has liquidised the other half will break down more easily. And if all you have is a pestle and mortar you'll need a few hours and a pair of strong arms.

4 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
6 lime leaves
4 stalks lemongrass, woody parts removed.
5cm galangal, peeled and roughly chopped
6 dried thai chillies
grated zest of 1 lime
2 tsp shrimp paste
small bunch coriander root
4 cloves garlic
50g fresh turmeric, peeled
1 tsp freshly ground coriander
1 tsp freshly ground cumin
1/2 tsp cinammon
pinch ground cloves
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp salt
Vegetable or sunflower oil, for blending, a few tablespoons

Blitz all the ingredients together except for the oil in a food processor. Pour enough oil down the funnel in a steady stream so that you get a smooth paste. Store, covered in the fridge. It should last about a month.

As well as using it to make curry, you can use the paste to make these thai pork burgers.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Sweet Focaccia with Peaches and Thyme

My love of the oil enriched bread goes right through the spectrum from savoury to sweet. I've come across many recipes in Italian cookery books for schiacciata con l'uva, a sweetened focaccia with grapes. In Anna del Conte's Book of Italian Food she writes how she and her schoolmates would have a still-warm slice at school lunchtimes, and it is so evocative, I must try making it sometime. But I felt like having a play around with flavours, and came up with this thyme-scented peach focaccia. Thyme might seem an unusual choice here, as it is usually reserved for savoury dishes, but I like the woodsy flavour it gives to the peaches. The earthiness works especially well if you're making this for a picnic. But if the weather is against you for outdoor eating, you'd do well to comfort yourself by having this warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream  alongside.

You could even make this for breakfast- for the first prove, leave it overnight in the fridge. It will still rise, but the coldness will make the yeast work much more slowly. The following morning, continue as normal. It will require a longer knead, just to make it pliable again. Any overnight guests you have will certainly love you for it.

400g strong white bread flour
1 sachet yeast
50g caster sugar
1 tsp salt
280ml warm water
50ml olive oil
Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
4 peaches or nectarines
4 sprigs thyme, leaves only, chopped
15g butter

Put the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl, stir to combine. Pour in the olive oil and water, and mix to a sticky dough. Knead for about 5 minutes. If you need to add extra flour to handle it, do so, but it should be quite a soft mixture. Shape into a ball, and leave it to rise, covered, for about two hours or until doubled in size.
After the first prove, punch the dough down, and knead for another minute. Flour a baking tray. Using a rolling pin or your hands, shape the dough into a rectangle about 1/2cm thick. Place on the tray and dimple the surface all over with your fingertips.  Leave it to rest for another 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190 C.  Slice the peaches into eighths. When the proving time is up, top the dough with the fruit, thyme and zest. Cut the butter into tiny cubes, and dot all over the surface. Bake for around 30 minutes. It's best eaten warm, but can be revived in the microwave the following day.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Chickpea, Sweet Potato and Spinach Curry

This curry has a good balance of creaminess from the coconut milk and enough heat and spice to make sure it is anything but dull and cloying. It's my favourite sort of comfort food. Please don't be put off by the long list of ingredients; it's very easy to make and rewarding to eat. You can, of course, vary the vegetables, but these are my usual trio. In the last version I made, the spinach was replaced with choy sum that needed using, and very nice it was too.

2 tbsp unsalted butter or ghee
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 inches ginger. peeled and grated
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 stick cinnamon
2 cardamom pods
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander seed
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric
pinch asafoetida
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin coconut milk
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
1 tin chickpeas, drained
200g spinach leaves
2 tbsp garam masala
small bunch coriander leaves
1 tsp salt
juice of 1 lime

In a heavy bottomed saucepan melt the butter/ghee over a medium heat until it starts to bubble. Stir in the onion, garlic and ginger and cook golden brown. You'll need to stir it often to prevent it burning. Now add the whole spices-the cardamom, mustard seeds and cinnamon stick and continue to cook with the oniony mixture for 1 minute. Follow these with the ground spices except for the garam masala, and cook, stirring all the time, for 1 further minute. Add the tin of tomatoes, let it cook for a few minutes until thickened and then stir in the coconut milk. Now the chickpeas and the sweet potato. Let the whole thing cook at a low simmer until the sweet potato is very tender.
Stir in the spinach, it will wilt in the heat of the pan. So even if it doesn't look like it will all fit, persevere,  adding it bit by bit. Season with the salt and garam masala, adding more if you think it needs it. Spritz with the lime juice and when you are ready to eat, stir through the chopped coriander leaves. Have with the usual accompaniments; raiti, naans, chutneys, whatever you like.