Monday, June 23, 2014

Good times with chickpeas

This weekend I enjoyed three long days of sunshine and not terribly humid weather. It was one of our summer Fridays at work, so I had off for a nice long solstice weekend. That said, while I enjoyed the lovely weather and exciting soccer matches at various locations--park, beer garden, friend's rooftop--I don't really have that much to say about it. Instead I wanted to post about something that's been sorely missing from my blog of late: food. I wanted to share something I've been making a lot because 1) it's easy, 2) My Cost-co membership means I now have tons of canned chickpeas, and 3) I'm trying to throw a few vegetarian meals in every week. 

I've often tried to replicate Indian food, but I'm usually not satisfied with the result. My attempts at chana masala have come the closest. Now fair warning: this is probably not at all authentic chana masala. I started out by reading recipes online (which themselves may or may not be authentic), but after a while, I realized I was just using them as a guide. The main thing I realized is you just need to put a ton of spices in there. I'm not sure which of them make it work, but even just estimating the measurements, I've yet to screw it up too badly. 

Stuff you will need. Feel free to soak your own dried chickpeas overnight if you are not a Costco shopper. 
1 onion
garlic (I put about six cloves in, but I put garlic in everything--scale down as needed)
1 jalepeno (this is where it probably starts to get inauthentic)
3 T oil (I've used coconut or regular vegetable, and both were fine)
2 cans chickpeas
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tsp minced ginger
1.5 T chana masala
1 T coriander
1 T cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp turmeric
salt to taste

Other than the rice you serve with it, this can be a one pot meal. Just dice up the onions, pepper, and garlic. Then heat the oil on medium high and cook them until soft. Add in the ginger, spices, chickpeas (drained and rinsed if using canned), and tomatoes. Add in 1/2 cup to 1 cup of water to help make a gravy. Turn down the heat to medium and cook stirring occasionally for 15 minutes. It should start to get a bit thicker. You can then use a fork to mash some of the chickpeas a little to thicken it.

Friends and family who follow my usual cooking projects will know how rare it is for me to make something in one pan. My loyal dish washer can also appreciate this one. 
Once you've mashed your chick peas to get the desired sauce thickness, you're ready to serve it over rice. So by the way, you should have been cooking rice throughout this process. I forgot to mention that. Naan would be delicious too, but that's another seemingly simple bit of Indian cuisine I have yet to master.

Not the most beautiful dinner, but it's tasty and reheats well. 
Do any of my readers have any good vegetarian meals to share? I find I can get in kind of a food rut and just making the same things over and over again. Costco has not helped to curb that tendency. 

1 comment:

  1. Made this veggie recipe recently, it was tasty!