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December 16 2012 / Emily

Beginner’s Chick Pea Curry

I love Indian food, and earlier this week I was having a craving.  But I decided that instead of trying to find someone to go to Nawab with me (a fantastic local Indian restaurant), or cooking food from a pouch, I would try to make my own.

Thus, I bring you… my attempt at curry.

I had a lot of chick peas since they were recently on sale, so I thought I’d make that the bulk of the curry.  I looked up a number of recipes online, and they all called for like a dozen different kinds of spice, most of which I did not already have.  So I thought I’d just make up my own recipe and buy some random things at the store.  I unfortunately ran out of time, so I wasn’t able to simmer the end result for as long as I would have hoped, because I was going to a movie with some girlfriends.  (Side note: Anna Karenina was fantastic.)

Emily’s First Curry

half onion
oil for sauteeing
1 can fire roasted diced chile peppers (4 oz can)
about a cup of spinach
2 tablespoons curry paste
1 can drained, rinsed chick peas (garbanzo beans) (15.5 oz can)
1 can drained diced tomatoes (14.5 oz can)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon roasted ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 cup water

serve with rice and/or naan

curry ingredients

I started by chopping and sauteeing the half onion in some olive oil. Should have perhaps used vegetable oil.

Next I added the can of diced chiles and let that cook together for a little bit.

Then I added the spinach and curry paste, and stirred it all together.

Next came the chick peas and diced tomatoes.  I won’t drain the tomatoes on my next attempt.

It was this point where I realized this pan was not going to hold another can of chick peas as it was already rather full.  Bonus: found something to put on my Christmas list.  Bigger pan!

December 10 - Cooking Curry

As I was trying to combine these items in the too-small pan, I realized I needed some more liquid, so I added water and the rest of my spices: cumin, coriander and garam masala. Garam masala is just a mixture of a lot of spices, so I could have perhaps skipped the others, but this was all an experiment.

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Ideally I would have let this simmer for at least 30 minutes to combine and soften up, but I had lost track of time and needed to skedaddle soon. So I heated my rice-in-a-bag (I’m lazy) and scooped some of my piping-hot curry into a low bowl with the rice.

All in all, I am satisfied with how this turned out.  I now have a few more ingredients than I did before, and will attempt to make curry again when I have more time.  Maybe I’ll follow a recipe next time around.  I don’t expect to make something to rival the fantastic meals from Nawab, but maybe I can get to a place where I’m happier making my own than opening up a pouch of premade curry.  Speaking of pouches I should probably also cook my own rice.

I’d like to make it a bit saucier next time too.  By the second iteration of this meal, most of the sauce had soaked up into the chick peas and such, so it was a little dry.  And I’ll probably add more spices, either in quantity or variety (or both).  An Indian coworker of mine suggested cooking the curry paste and sauce base together first before adding the other ingredients, so I am taking lessons from her too!

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day 1: curry over rice

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day 2: curry with rice and storebought naan

Maybe this experiment will help me be more comfortable with making ethnic foods at home!  I don’t get too far past Tex-Mex and Italian.  All Americanized versions of course.  Got to break out of my all-pasta-all-the-time rut, though I do of course love pasta!

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2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. hinsone / Dec 16 2012 5:47 PM

    I do love me some Nawab, but it’s nice to make stuff at home too. I’m used to chickpeas being more a Greek things (hummus, falafel) but this certainly looks interesting and sounds delicious!

    • Emily / Dec 17 2012 11:33 PM

      I love hummus and falafel for sure, but my favorite packaged Indian food is chana masala which has potatoes along with the chick peas. Was hoping to halfway recreate that. Got a different flavor profile, but I suppose I was inspired by recipes for chick pea curry, not chana masala.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chana_masala

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