Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Easy Chick Pea Curry

I made the recipe below last week Monday night in order to use up the unused portions of the cilantro, chickpeas, and tomatoes that I bought for the Tunisian chickpea and vegetable soup that I made a couple weeks ago. It was also a chance to use "my" "new" blender.

Rather than the quantities listed below, I used about 14oz (or one half of a can) of canned diced tomatoes, one and a half cans of chickpeas, about two thirds of a bunch of cilantro, and a whole white onion. I don't know what is meant by hot green chilies. I bought three hot yellow peppers (that is what the grocery store called them) but decided to use only one. I think I made the right decision. I also forgot to buy cinnamon and didn't have any on hand. Since I was using larger amounts of ingredients than the recipe called for and had forgotten cinnamon, I was fairly liberal with most of the spices. I was cautious with the salt, and only used the amount given.

It took me quite a while, maybe an hour, to get all of the vegetables ready, in part because I got a phone call in the middle of doing so, but also because I was reading the recipe off of my computer screen which is not convenient, because I didn't want it to be too close to the vegetables that I was chopping and also because it kept going into screen saver mode. Next time it should go much quicker.

The rest went smoothly, though I didn't cook the potatoes long enough, and it turned out that I was overly cautious with the salt. Neither of these things were a big deal, however. Once the potatoes were fully cooked and enough salt was added, I was pleased with the result. The recipe doesn't say so, but I ate it with rice, in roughly equal proportion to the curry.

The recipe comes from "From Curries to Kebabs" by Madhur Jaffrey, via the blogless Erica.

2 cups (1 can) chickpeas
2 smallish tomatoes (about 8 ounces), chopped
2-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3-6 fresh hot green chilies, chopped
1 cup cilantro tops, chopped
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 ¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons corn, peanut, or olive oil
1 medium stick of cinnamon
5 whole cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 medium potatoes (about 9 ounces), peeled and cut into ¾-inch dice

Leave the chickpeas to drain in the colander.

Put the tomatoes, ginger, garlic, chilies, cilantro, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 5 to 6 tablespoons of water in a blender and blend until smooth, pushing down with a rubber spatula when necessary.

Pour the oil in to a wide, lidded, medium pan and set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, put in the cinnamon, cardamom, and bay leaves. Ten seconds later, add the onion and potatoes. Stir and fry for six minutes, or until the onion is lightly browned. Add the paste from the blender. Stir for a minute. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for 6 to 7 minutes, lifting the lid now and then to stir. Add the chickpeas, the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt, and 1 cup of water. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cover, and cook gently on a low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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