Monday, September 25, 2017

Spice Junction in my House

I think I've told you all before that my little one 

(well, not so little anymore!) loves Indian food.  I must admit, it makes me feel really good to make that statement.  My child loves Indian food! 

I decided to shake it up tonight with my own Chickpea Curry over basmati.  Basmati is easily my most favorite rice on this good Earth.  It's pretty, fragrant and it has its own distinct flavor. Regular ol' Southern rice really doesn't have a flavor. 

As many of you know, I am a freak-a-zoid-a-maniac fan of Aldi.  Did you know that Aldi carries naan? Yes, you heard me.  I managed to get the last package of it on my trip today.  I have been planning an Indian dinner and tonight we had Chickpea Curry on our menu.  

I think Indian food has a tough row to hoe here in America.  Most people hear the word "curry" and automatically think of curry powder.  Any food with curry powder in it is a 50/50. People either love it or HATE it.  My sister is in the HATE IT camp.  More accurately, she's in the seething loathing curry powder hating camp.  Hates the flavor, the smell, all of it.  But in Indian cuisine, "curry" really means any kind of stew or saucy dish, usually eaten over rice.  Think of our Southern field peas over rice.

The second obstacle that Indian food faces here in the U.S. is that most people are intimidated by the ingredient list.  Indians are the spice masters of the world.  But here's the deal, you probably have most of their spices in your cabinet and don't realize it.  And, if you take a few extra minutes, those spices will make a good dish great.  
 So, my chickpea curry was ridiculously easy to make but no one would guess that from the flavor and the appearance.  Here goes:  

1) Chopped 2 onions and sauteed in about 2 Tbs veg oil until they softened. 

2) Added 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 tsp minced fresh ginger, 6 whole cloves, a 2" stick of cinnamon snapped in half, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp ground coriander, 1/2 tsp cayenne, & 1 tsp turmeric. Cook all that together, stirring for about a minute.

3) Add 2 cans of garbanzos with their liquid and about 1/4 cup of fat-free half & half.  Stir/cook for about 3-4 minutes to heat through and soften garbanzos. Stir in about 1 cup chopped cilantro.

This dish took about 10 minutes to cook.  How easy can it be?  I warmed up the naan in the oven, cooked a pot of basmati, and <Boom> dinner.  And it rocked too.  And our house smells delightful.  And the only fat in the entire dish was 2 Tbs of veg oil to saute the onions and spices.  And, there is no reason for anyone to be intimidated by this recipe.  

Try it out.  Let me know what you think.


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