Looking for inspiration for what to cook for dinner one day, I was thumbing through my Food & Wine magazine and came across this recipe. The ingredients listed made my mouth water on the spot, so I knew this was "the one." And it didn't look too difficult, seeing as I'd never made an Indian curry and was also pressed for time. The only part of the recipe that made me cry was dicing 3 onions.
Side note: Growing up, my mom used to wear my ski goggles whenever she cooked with onions. I thought she looked silly and used to make fun of her. CUT TO: Me as an adult. I now wear ski goggles when chopping onions. You may look like a Dorky McDorkerson, but to the women, your mascara and nose will not run (men shouldn't wear mascara, so this doesn't apply to you).
Back to the curry. The part of the recipe that made me wheeze and cough was when I opened the top to the food processor after pureeing the jalapeño/ginger/garlic paste. Be careful! That sh*t is potent!
So without further ado, I give you utopia in a bowl...
CHICKPEAS IN A SPICY TOMATO GRAVY
Courtesy of Chef Sanjeev Kapoor
Total Time: 35 minutes
4 - 6 Servings
This classic Punjabi dish is often served as part of a big Sunday lunch, along with raita, naan and salad.
8 garlic cloves, chopped
2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
One 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 sweet onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 Tablespoons ground cumin
1 Tablespoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (or LESS, for this amount will make your curry very spicy)
1-1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes
Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups chicken broth (or water, but broth gives the curry depth)
3/4 cup tomato purée or plain tomato sauce (this was my own addition because the broth wasn't tomato-ey enough for my taste!)
Salt to taste
2 Tablespoons whole cilantro leaves
In a mini food processor, combine the garlic, jalapeños and ginger and process to a paste.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Add the onions and cook over moderately high heat until sizzling, about 3 minutes.
Reduce the heat to moderate and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are browned, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes and simmer over moderate heat until thickened, about 6 minutes.
Add the chickpeas and broth (and tomato purée if you'd like) and simmer until the chickpeas are flavored with the gravy, about 8 minutes.
Season the chickpeas with salt. Ladle into bowls, garnish with cilantro, a dollop of plain yogurt and enjoy!
What I love about this dish is how healthy and how flavorful it is. Not only does it combine robust flavors to shock your taste buds, the tomatoes round it out with a tangy sweetness that is then perfectly tamed with the yogurt garnish. An unusual blend of sweet, savory and spicy that will make your friends and family wanting more.