Category Archives: Entrees

Back to the Grind…

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.

ss-chickpeas

Ingredients:

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

Method:

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 !

sweet-sour-chickpeas

A New Look and a Salad

I really hope to stick to this theme ! My dear brother found it and tweaked it for me . I love the layout and  I am still doing a cleanup of the website , but I hope my readers and visitors really like this theme.  I have been working on this continuously for the last week , cleaning up , uploading , deleting stuff.  Its a lesson learnt that I need to be more organized and not neglect my virtual baby !

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Heirloom

Spicy and sour , a traditional recipe , a must during the festival times. This is a bit tricky to make , but surely a winner amongst the lot and a sure to be on the menu , for every occasion , festival. I cannot remember a time when it was not cooked  and I cannot remember a time , when I didn’t stamp my foot in anger and walk away because it was “this” dish again !

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Veggie and Quinoa Salad with garlic chili Oil

The summer heat here is killing and we were showered with a bit of rain due to the Jimena hurricane hitting Arizona and New Mexico.  Its hard for me to step into the kitchen , especially when its raining . I dont want to miss even a teensy weensy bit as rain is a rarity in this part of the world. However , the rumbling in my stomach reminded me that I had to make a meal for us. I set about throwing almost everything I had in the pantry as we are going away for the long weekend and I want to empty the crisper. I dislike coming back from a vacation , just to realize the stale veggies in the crisper. I threw in whatever I could find , the end result was a beautiful spicy faux grain and veggie salad. Quinoa is actually a fruit seed.

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Ganth Gobi Aur Chane ki Daal

Otherwise known as Kolhrabi /Knol Kohl ,belonging to the family of turnips  Ganth Gobi is a common dish we serve , Soupy , Hot and spicy, fresh from the stove top, it is normally served with Warm Methi or Plain parathas or  Missi roti and some plain yogurt.The left overs are normally gobbled up , pretending it to be a chunky soup.

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