See, I like Indian food, but i'm fairly picky about it. So far, I can only ever find Indian food the way I like it at actual Indian restaurants. Anytime I try to cook it myself, it turns out... wrong. Just doesn't capture the right flavors. Doesn't make my mouth water in the same beautiful way.
But no more! I have conquered my personal Indian food mountain!
I think the key was to stop using recipes. Only I know what Indian food I like, so I should be the one to decide what goes in it. Seems obvious, but I guess I wasn't confident enough in my own cooking skillz til now. But last night I got a wild hair up my arse and decided to just go for it.
Kat's Tomato and Chickpea Curry
1 Can Chickpeas
1 Can Diced Tomatoes (I used fire-roasted cuz it's all I had)
3 Cloves Garlic
1 tsp Fresh ground ginger (or just throw in 1/2 tsp of ginger powder with the other spices)
2 Cups Water
1 tsp Cardamom
1 tsp Coriander
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Cloves (in powder form)
1/4 tsp Mustard Powder
2 Bay Leaves
Chop up your onion, press your garlic (or dice if you lack a press), grate your ginger.
Heat up a dime of canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat
When the skillet is hot, throw in the onion, garlic, and ginger.
Saute for about 5 minutes, until the onions get clear and soft and are browning.
When they start to stick a bit, pour in about 1/2 cup of water and stir it around.
Turn the heat way down to simmering.
Add your spices, minus the bay leaf, and stir. Should smell amazing.
Pour in your chickpeas and tomatoes. Stir around. Make sure it's simmering but not boiling. I suck at that, btw. I tend to go back and forth between boiling and doing nothing. But my meals still turn out well, so I guess it must even out in the end ;)
If you drained the chickpeas and tomatoes, add in a cup and a half of water. If you didn't drain them, but dumped them in with their water, then you will probably only need a cup of water. Basically you want everything to be mixing about in a wet stewyness.
Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
Check on it. Stir. Sample. Are the chickpeas soft? Do you like the spice level? If you don't like the spice level, stir in some more spices.
If the chickpeas are not really soft, and the tomatoes are not all a-mush, then it will need to cook longer. If almost all the water is gone, add in another 1/2 cup.
Cover and let simmer another 20 minutes.
Check again. Stir. Sample. Spice level good? If not, hit it up with some more.
Are the chickpeas soft yet? Are the tomatoes a-mush? Either way, how is the water content? If it's all a big of a stewy mushy mess, then you should be in good shape.
You want it to be goopy and saucy to an extent, but you want it to go over rice without a ton of water draining through the rice to the bottom of your bowl, dig?
Only you can know when it's truly done. I like my chickpeas super mushy but I also like the mix to be fairly saucy.
Some people like their chickpeas harder and/or prefer a less runny curry.
You can really go wrong as long as it looks and tastes like something you want to eat on your rice.
Serve with rice (you did make some brown rice to go with this, right??). Eat.
Enjoy your tummy making love to itself. mmmm mmmm.
Wake up drooling and dreaming of curry.
Make more curry.