Friday, February 13, 2009

Tomato and Chickpea Curry

Oh. My. God. I have finally made a perfect curry dish for myself! It may not be perfect for anyone else, but eff 'em. It's an Indian spiced dish that fulfills my Indian food desires just as well as the best Indian restaurant in our neighborhood.

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!

From Foodsies!

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)
1 Onion
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.

1 comment:

  1. My own curry sauce:
    3tbsp olive oil
    1 onion finely chopped
    5 cloves garlic minced
    1 can no salt added tomato paste
    1 can diced tomatoes
    4-6 chili peppers
    10 black pepper corns
    1/2- 1 tsp cumin seeds
    3/4 tsp coriander seeds
    4-6 whole cloves
    2 small cinnamon sticks broken
    3 pieces of crystallized ginger or a small cube of fresh
    1 tbsp yellow curry powder
    1 tbsp red curry powder
    2 tbsp red curry paste
    1 1/2 tsp dried cilantro

    1 can of coconut milk (optional)

    Get a large pot add oil heat up and add onions and garlic, should sizzle, but it won't ruin it if it doesn't. Cook till onions are clear.
    Meanwhile in a blender put all the spices except curry past, and add tomato paste and diced tomatoes. Fill up the each can with water and add it to the blender, or if you want to use the coconut milk omit the diced tomato water can for now. Blend until a smooth consistency. Poor into pot, and then add one more can of water from the diced tomato can (or first obviously if you used the coconut milk.) And blend again to get the rest of the spices. And then poor into the pot. Simmer for 30 minuets and then add curry paste and cook for 2 hours.

    Add whatever vegetables you like, chickpeas, potatoes, broccoli, and just cook to the constancy that you prefer. But if you want potatoes and you cook them for the whole time, they will practically melt in your mouth.