vegetarian recipe: Chickpea Curry

Indian spices I love going out for Indian food and have been craving it, but it’s so expensive here so I’m attempting some simpler dishes on my own. My love affair with curry flavor began at a young age when my mom used it as her “secret ingredient” in the housewife favorite tuna casserole. I made this chickpea curry dish tonight and it was delicious; I should have photographed but at the end of a workday I’m starving so I ate it in a hurry. I looked at other recipes for inspiration, but this is what I came up with. You can play with it and add or subtract ingredients based on what you have on hand at home. (Many chickpea curry recipes include onion and cooked potatoes, which would go nicely.)

Ingredients:
1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
1/2 cup water
1 bouillon cube*
pat of butter
extra virgin olive oil (organic)
1 ripe tomato, diced
curry powder
ground cumin
red pepper flakes
tiny spoonful minced garlic (I use jarred)
pinch cornstarch
2 heaping tbsp sour cream

In a small saucepan add water, olive oil, chickpeas, bouillon and butter (I suppose butter is optional, but I wanted the flavor; Indian cooking requires ghee, which is similar to butter except it doesn’t burn at a high heat). Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to blend the bouillon flavor. Then I added the red pepper flakes and garlic, followed by the diced tomato. Keep stirring. I waited for the “stock” to boil down a bit (you don’t want it watery). I added cornstarch as a thickening agent and stirred thoroughly. I added a dash of cumin and a generous pinch of curry powder. By this point the tomatoes should be soft and lovely and you should have a rather thick sauce. Lastly I added the sour cream to make the sauce nice and creamy, just like what you would be served at an Indian restaurant. (The smell cooking this was divine, by the way.) Stir, stir, stir and serve hot over a bed of rice (I used Near East rice pilaf, which was tasty but too salty, next time I’ll try jasmine or plain white rice).

*Next time I plan on using chicken or vegetable stock because bouillon is much too high in salt.

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