Mandi has been on a chickpea kick lately. We thought chickpea curry would be a healthy and quick weeknight dinner to make so I set out online to try and find recipes. Traditionally, chickpeas are used in a curry dish called "Chana" or "Chole", but I don't have access to some of the more exotic ingredients in this recipe (asafetida and dried mango powder) so I decided we would just wing it. Our end result was delicious. I used dried beans because they are better for you, taste better, and are cheaper than canned, but if you want to make this quicker and easier, go for the cans.
These beans have been soaking for 8 hours.
You have to pick through dried beans because there are some bad ones. This is the reject pile.
Next, simmer the beans for about an hour and a half. Add some stuff to the water if you want to impart some flavor to the beans, but don't use salt! Salt slows the tenderizing process. We used 5 cardamom pods, some dried chiles, bay leaf, 3 cloves of garlic, and an onion. When these are tender, remove them from the pot, but save some of the cooking liquid. At least 1 cup.
These are the spices for Garam Masala. Check here for the recipe. After toasting these, peel the cardamom pods and put everything in the blender. The only difference we made to this mixture from last time was the addition of a tablespoon of mustard seeds.
We only ended up using half of this powder.
Time to make the curry paste! You can just put all of this stuff in the blender together if you want to save some more time. This is a quick and easy weeknight meal after all.
Just keep choppin.
Incorporating the garam masala.
Ok, its time to start the curry. Heat up some Ghee (clarified butter) or regular butter in the pot. Add sliced onions. Give this a little shake of turmeric.
When the onions have cooked down a bit, add the curry paste.
Add a little more turmeric too and fry it up for a few minutes.
This is after adding 1 cup of the chickpea cooking water.
After it thickens a bit, add 2 (14.5 oz.) cans of crushed tomatoes, and half a can of coconut milk.
Bring to a boil and add spinach.
Then add the chickpeas.
We made some rice to go with this. Just heated up some ghee, added a teaspoon of garam masala, toasted the rice in there, then added the water and covered and cooked it like normal rice.
MMM this tastes really good! This was successful as a quick easy and healthy weeknight meal.
Garam Masala with tablespoon of mustard seed blended into the mix.
6 Red Chiles
3 Garlic Cloves
Thumb sized chunk of ginger.
Blend these all together, or chop them all together into a paste.
Cook onions in ghee or butter and turmeric. About 10 minutes. Add curry paste and more turmeric. Cook 2 minutes. Add 1 cup reserved chickpea cooking liquid (or 1 cup water if using canned chickpeas, or veg stock). When it thickens a bit, add 28 ounces of crushed tomatoes from can. Add half a can of coconut milk. Bring to a boil and add 2 big handfuls of spinach. Stir in and add canned or prepared chickpeas. You should taste all along and the flavor should be very strong. You need strong flavor because the chickpeas are bland. If the flavor isn't strong enough, add more garam masala and salt.