Thursday, January 20, 2011

Expanding the Palate

There is an entire world of flavor and often times, we limit ourselves by routine and familiarity. Attempting to expand my family's palate, I like to try new recipes, new restaurants, new cuisine. Do not be afraid of new. Worst thing that could happen? It sucks and you order pizza. Done and done.

Here is a recipe we tried the other night and it turned out great, even my boys (5 and 1) ate some!

Spicy Indian Chickpeas
Mad Hungry
Lucinda Scala Quinn

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped (I only used half an onion), plus 1 small onion sliced, for garnish
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced (2 tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons of peeled fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (left this out for the kids)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 15oz cans chickpeas, drained (1 cup liquid reserved)
  • 1 large tomato, sliced in wedges for garnishing
  • 3 hot fresh green chilies, sliced lengthwise and seeded, for garnishing

Heat a large pot and swirl the oil. Add the chopped onion, garlic, and ginger. Saute until soft and lightly golden, 5 to 6 minutes. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon, garam masala, cumin, coriander, cloves, cayenne, and salt. Add to the onion mixture; cook and stir the spices to lightly toast, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for another few minutes to combine. The color should be dark red. Add the chickpeas plus the cup of reserved liquid. Stir to combine. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, removing the cover in the last few minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for a minute to allow the beans to soak up the spice flavors. Season with salt to taste. Serve in a shallow bowl with jasmine rice garnished with sliced onion, tomato wedges, and slices of green chilies.

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