Thursday, May 26, 2011

Easy Chickpea Curry

I know I’ve posted about chickpea curries before, but I do like them. One pot dinners are so convenient, and legumes are very healthy. This recipe is from a Zen farm, so it sounded more authentic somehow. I didn’t use cauliflower, though, but threw in half an onion instead. I omitted the fish sauce and used beef stock because I was out of vegetable or chicken stock. And I only used 1 Tbsp of soy sauce, because that didn’t seem to belong in a curry recipe. I was probably drawn to this recipe because it had been a while since I’d made curry. You see, as I was making it, I was flabbergasted to realize that I did not have any curry powder. Blasphemy, I know! But that means that I hadn’t made curry since last August. I still have trouble believing that, but that’s what the evidence suggests. So I improvised: instead of 1 Tbsp mild curry powder, I used 1 tsp each of ground cumin, ground turmeric and Korean pepper. It was very good, but next time, I’ll use ground spices; the Engineer enjoyed having black peppercorns floating around the broth, but I did not like biting down on them. Feel free to add chicken or beef cubes to the stew! This makes about 6 servings.

1 clove of garlic (I used 2 and grated them on a microplane zester)
½ tsp peppercorns (or ground black pepper)
½ tsp coriander seeds (or ground coriander)
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp curry powder
2 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
2 cups sliced potatoes
2 cups sliced carrots
2 cups cauliflower florets (or chopped onion)
1 14-oz can chopped tomatoes
1 14-oz can coconut milk
1 14-oz can chickpeas
1-2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp fish sauce (optional)
1 Tbsp honey (or agave syrup, for a vegan adaptation)
¼ cup slivered basil leaves, plus small whole leaves for garnish

In a mortar, grind the garlic, peppercorns and coriander seeds into a paste. (Alternatively, finely chop or grate the garlic with ground versions of the peppercorns and coriander.)

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven. Fry garlic mixture until fragrant. Add curry powder and fry a little longer to release flavors.

Add stock, potatoes and carrots and bring to a gentle simmer. After about five minutes, add the cauliflower, tomatoes, coconut milk, chickpeas, soy and fish sauces and honey. Bring to a gentle simmer and continue cooking until the vegetables are done and the sauce has begun to thicken.

Taste for seasonings and add additional soy sauce or honey as needed. You may want to add more heat via hot chile paste if your curry powder wasn't hot enough.

Remove from heat and stir in the basil. Serve over rice with the additional basil on top as a garnish.

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