It took me almost a year to get back to blogging. Sorry folks , but life has been a roller coaster so far this year. I was in India for about 4 and a half months , initially vacationing and then realizing , it might be a permanent move and then figuring out that it was indeed a long vacation. Now , I am back to where I was and slowly getting back to the grind.
We also realized a little angel has choosen us to be her parents. Yes! you got it right , little Ishya will soon be having a baby sister this fall ! The past month has been all about settling down , innumerable shopping trips for the new baby , driving my little one to play dates and classes and keeping her from being bored.
Realization struck that I haven’t been cooking regularly for a long time now , just an occasional quick fix in the kitchen to survive . I started cooking full fledged meals only since last week and this one of the first hits that I’d like to share with you. I might not be regularly blogging , but will drop in occasionally to say Hi !
Chickpeas have always been a source of comfort for K and handy to throw in a quick meal for me.. These slowly grew on me and now I thoroughly enjoy them. Instead of the normal chole or a chickpea stew , I decided to add some zing to them and turned it into a sweet and sour sensation. It was a huge hit with both roti and rice. This recipe is adapted from the Curry Bible , 660 Curries By Raghavan Iyer.
1 cup of dried chickpeas soaked overnight
1 medium sized onion
2 medium sized tomatoes
1 tablespoon of thick tamarind paste
A big squirt of agave nectar/maple syrup ( use as needed)
A bay leaf
1 teaspoon of kala jeera/ cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon of coriander powder
1 teaspoon of coarsely ground ginger and garlic paste
A pinch of garam masala (optional)
A pinch of turmeric
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Oil and Salt to taste
cilantro for garnish
1. Cook the chickpeas on a stove top until tender or in a pressure cooker until at least 5-7 whistles. They should be intact but cooked.
2. You know the drill , Heat oil in a kadhai add some kala jeera or Jeera ( black cumin or normal cumin seeds, i prefer black cumin for the flavor they impart to the dish) , a dry bay leaf , turmeric .once they sizzle add the onions and brown them ,
3. Next , add the chopped tomatoes and let that simmer into a mushy sauce and then add the cooked chickpeas . Add salt and a cup of water and let the chickpeas simmer for at least 10-15 minutes. Then add the cumin , coriander powders and the cayenne pepper and cook for another couple of minutes. Just 5 minutes before you switch off the flame , add the tamarind paste and the agave nectar and mix well. Let the curry simmer until mixed well . Remove from heat , garnish with cilantro and savour it with rice , roti or thick crusty bread .
Notes and Variations:
1. Add the spice powders almost at the end to avoid a bitter taste , if you are letting the curry simmer for a longer period or slow cooking it.
2. I add vegetables like potato /eggplant / Kale and spinach for a twist.
3. Dont worry if the curry becomes mushy and you over cook your chickpeas , It tastes great with thick crusty bread , You can top the bread with this curry or simply dunk it and have a hearty meal.
4. I also cook the chickpeas and add raw chopped onions and tomatoes and use the ingredients to make a dressing for a salad . I also top it off with some store bought sev or some urad dal papad .It tastes great !