Sunday, March 28, 2010

Curried Chickpeas

What a great weekend it's been! I took a vacation day Friday since we were celebrating our anniversary.. Friday and Saturday were wonderfully warm, sunny days and I got the raised beds and one of the flower beds bed cleaned out. I planted lettuce and spinach and sowed wildflower seeds. The only down side to the weekend was Kentucky loosing to West Virginia.

Friday night Paul and I had dinner at Shiraz, a relatively new restaurant here in Louisville. We enjoyed generous servings of tabbouleh, quinoa, hummus, falafel, and eggplant, along with a sampler of various flatbreads. We had a lovely chat with the owner, a first generation immigrant from Tehran. It never occurred to me to take pictures until it was too late. Next time!

I've had a couple pounds of dried chickpeas hanging out in the pantry for awhile waiting for me to get some inspiration. Inspiration actually came in the form sticking to the pantry challenge. So, yesterday afternoon I put the chickpeas to soak in my older, smaller crock pot. Last night I turned the crock pot on high, expecting to wake up to bubbling chickpeas, fragrant with the dried chipotle peppers I seasoned them with. Not! I woke up to very well-soaked chickpeas that were cold as a stone. Alas, my old crock pot is dead. Which is a little sad, since that old crock pot was a wedding gift to Paul and me many years ago. So I dumped the chickpeas into a big soup pot and cooked them on the stove, which worked out fine.

Two pounds of chickpeas will make a bunch of hummus and a big ol' pot of curried chickpeas, which was perfect for a cool, rainy weekend. This is my take on Curried Chickpeas.

Curried Chickpeas

4 cups cooked chickpeas (fresh are best, but canned will work in a pinch. If you use canned, drain and rinse well.)
1-2 tbs olive oil
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed and seeded (I used one of the chipotle peppers I cooked with the chickpeas for a smoky flavor)
1/2 large onion, cut into chunks
2-3 cloves garlic
1 tsp ground ginger or 1" fresh ginger
2 tsp curry powder (more or less to taste)
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
juice of 1 lemon

Place the onion, jalapeno, garlic, ginger, curry powder, chili powder, coriander, salt, turmeric, and garam masala in a food processer and blend into a thick paste.

Heat the oil in a dutch oven. Add cumin and mustard seeds and fry until they start to pop. Add the onion-pepper-garlic paste, and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and mix well.

Place 1 cup of the chickpeas in the food processor and pulse until the chickpeas are almost pureed. Add the processed chickpeas to the pot and stir to combine.

Add the remaining chickpeas to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes, or longer if you want, stirring frequently. Add a little water if it gets too thick. Taste for seasoning and add salt if desired.

Serve this over rice if you want, or scoop it up plain with pieces of torn toasted pita bread.

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