Curried Chickpeas and Potatoes

Curried Chickpeas and Potatoes
This was my lunch today. Curried chickpeas and potatoes can be eaten with chapati, naan or puri. It is easy to make and all you need is a small can of chickpeas, a few potatoes, and spices that are found on most Indian kitchen shelves. You can adjust the amount of chilli powder in this recipe depending on your preference.

I will be taking a break from blogging to travel, to take some cooking classes, and to catch up with projects around the house. Have a wonderful summer!

Curried Chickpeas and Potatoes
Prep time: 10
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons oil
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon nigella seeds, (kalonji)
2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
1 15.5oz can (439g) chickpeas, (garbanzos)
3 medium potatoes, (boiled and peeled)
1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder, (depending on heat and your preference)
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
2 cups of water
salt
½ cup plain yoghurt
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Directions:
Place a saucepan on medium-high heat. Add oil. When the oil is hot add mustard seeds and when they crackle add nigella. Add the ginger-galic paste and saute until the raw smell of ginger-garlic disappears. Drain the chickpeas and add them to the saucepan. Cut the potatoes into small cubes and add them too. Saute for two minutes. Then add the chilli, cumin, garam masala, turmeric, water, and salt. Cover with a lid, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling turn the heat down to medium-low and let the chickpeas and potatoes cook along with the spices for about ten minutes.

Beat the yoghurt until it is smooth and creamy. Turn the heat to low and add the yoghurt. Let the curry continue to cook for another ten minutes. The gravy should have thickened by now. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Sorry, I didn’t have any so you don’t see it in the picture!

Reposting – Red Kidney Bean Curry (Rajma curry)

Red Kidney Bean Curry3Red Kidney Bean Curry
Prep time: 8 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
1lb 13 oz (822 grams) red kidney beans
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 bay leaf, (tej patta)
2 black cardamoms
1-inch piece cinnamon
2 cups finely chopped onion
salt
2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
2 cups diced tomatoes
3 green chillies, (slit down the center – adjust depending on heat and your preference)
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons Kashmiri chilli powder, (depending on heat and your preference)
1 teaspoon crushed red chilli flakes, (depending on heat and your preference)
1 tablespoon coriander powder
2 teaspoons garam masala, (depending on your preference)
3 teaspoons kasori methi, (crushed in your palm)
1 cup warm water
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
3-4 mint leaves, (torn into bits)

Directions:
Heat a heavy bottomed pot on medium-high heat. Add oil and when it shimmers add the bay leaf, black cardamoms, and cinnamon. After 30 seconds add the chopped onion and salt. Fry until the onion turns light brown. Lower the heat to medium and add the ginger-garlic paste. Fry until the raw smell of ginger-garlic disappears, then add the tomatoes and green chillies. Cook until you see the oil separate from the tomato-onion mixture.

Add cumin seeds, turmeric powder, chilli powder, crushed red chilli flakes, coriander powder, garam masala powder, and kasori methi. Cook for 30 seconds and then add the canned red kidney beans along with the liquid in the can and one cup of warm water. Turn the heat to high and let the beans come to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, turn the heat to low, and let the beans simmer for 15-20 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and mint. Serve with plain steamed rice or rotis.

Black Chickpea Curry

Black Chickpea Curry1
The classic combination of puttu, kadala curry (black chickpea curry), and papadam is made for breakfast in most homes in Kerala. When I’m homesick, it’s my comfort food. Unlikely as the combination may sound, it actually works. Check out my post on, “Puttu, Pazham, and Pappadam” to learn how to make puttu.

In Kerala, black chickpea curry accompanies puttu, appam, idiyappam, and dosa. But it can also be served with rice, chapati, and puri. You can make it with or without gravy. Black chickpeas are called kala channa in Hindi.

Using garam masala is key. It adds flavor and spice to this curry. The feedback that I received on the garam masala recipe that I shared with you is excellent. Take the time to make it and use it in my recipes. It’s the best!

Black chickpeas are a good source of protein, low in fat, high in dietary fiber, and rich in vitamins and minerals. So, add them to your diet, especially if you are vegetarian or vegan.

Black Chickpea Curry
Prep Time: 20 minutes + soak the chickpeas overnight (8-9 hours)
Cooking time : 30 minutes
Serves : 4

Ingredients:
1 cup black chickpeas (kala channa/kadala), soaked overnight
1 teaspoon coconut oil
4 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 South Indian dry red chillies (depending on heat and your preference, optional)
½ cup grated coconut
¼ cup diced shallots
2 teaspoons sliced garlic
1 sprig curry leaves
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon garam masala powder, (depending on heat and your preference, optional)

To season the black chickpea curry
3 tablespoons coconut oil
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
2 tablespoons diced shallots

Directions:
Rinse the black chickpeas in several changes of water. Add half teaspoon salt to 2½ cups of water and soak the chickpeas for 8-9 hours or overnight.

Heat one teaspoon oil in a small pan set over medium-low heat. Add coriander seeds and when they begin to turn light brown add the dry red chillies. Roast until coriander turns golden brown. Remove to a small plate. To the same pan add coconut. Roast the coconut, stirring constantly, until the coconut turns golden brown. Off the heat and add quarter cup shallots, two teaspoons garlic, curry leaves, cumin, turmeric, and garam masala. Mix and let it remain on the stove top until it cools. Once all the ingredients that were roasted have cooled, put them into a blender and grind with three tablespoons of water to make a smooth paste.

Add the black chickpeas, along with the water it was soaking in, to a pressure cooker. Add another two cups of fresh water and the ground coconut paste. Stir well. Cover with lid. Bring to full cooking pressure on maximum heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook for eight minutes. Allow the cooker to cool gradually before opening. Please check on the cooking time for your make of pressure cooker.

To season the black chickpea curry, heat three tablespoons of coconut oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds and when they splutter, add curry leaves and shallots. Keep stirring until the shallots turn golden brown. Add the seasoning to the cooked black chickpea curry. Stir well and serve. If you want a thick gravy, cook the water down on high heat until the gravy thickens and reaches the consistency you desire.

Creamy Mixed Vegetables

Vegetables in a Cream Sauce1
Have you ever wished you had asked your mom how she made your favorite dish? Have you stood beside her in the kitchen and watched her cook? I’ve heard many people say, “I wish I had asked my mom how to make. . .” Your mom, dad, sister, brother, in-laws, aunts, whoever it is that cooks in your family, love to be asked. Now is the time!

I still have recipes that my mom sent me by snail mail. I treasure the recipes my family has shared with me. One of the reasons why I blog is because I want my family and you to have the recipes that I’ve collected for many years. Don’t be afraid to share. Someone dear to me once said, “Maggie, the more you share, the more you will learn.” Those words couldn’t be more true and they have stood the test of time.

You can use any combination of mixed vegetables in this recipe. Dry fenugreek leaves can be purchased at your local Indian grocery store. They taste similar to a combination of celery and fennel with a slightly bitter bite. Crumble the leaves with your fingers before you add them. Don’t skip this ingredient as it definitely adds another dimension to this dish.

Creamy Mixed Vegetables
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serve: 4

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tomatoes, blanched and chopped
1 potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 carrot, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 (15.5-ounce) can pink beans, drained
½ cup corn, fresh or frozen
3 teaspoons Kashmiri chilli powder, (depending on heat and your preference)
½ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon garam masala powder
½ cup tomato puree
salt
½ cup water
1 bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
¼ cup cream
2 teaspoons dry fenugreek leaves, (kasoori methi)

Directions:
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until it turns light brown. Add tomato and cook for two minutes or until soft. Then add the potato, carrot, cauliflower, pink beans, corn, chilli, cumin, and garam masala. Stir and cook for another two minute. Add the tomato puree, salt and water. Stir, cover with a lid, and cook for ten minutes. Add bell pepper, cream, and fenugreek. Mix to combine the vegetables with the creamy sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, for five minutes.

FriChik Curry

FriChik Curry-last
Taste this FriChik Curry and it will be easy to give up chicken! This is by far one of the best meatless meat curries I’ve learned to make. Credit for teaching me how to make this dish goes to my friend, Hannah. Thank you for sharing some of your best recipes with me. I’m certain that many of my vegetarian friends will appreciate this recipe as much as I do.

In my recipes, I often tell you to use chilli, “depending on heat and your preference.” It means that you can decide on the amount of chilli you use depending on how hot the chilli is and how much of it you can tolerate. Remember, that the heat level of chilli powder/green chillies/dry red chillies, differ. Many times I use Kashmiri chilli powder in my recipes because it is mild. So, adjust the chilli to suit your taste.

You can buy FriChik at the Potomac Adventist Book & Health Food Store in Silver Spring, Maryland. You can also buy it on line from Amazon.com. I know how difficult it is to come up with tasty, vegetarian dishes so you will want to bookmark this page.

FriChik Curry
Prep time: 15 minutes (does not include time for soaking nuts)
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients:
¼ cup oil
2 cups finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
2 teaspoons Kashmiri chilli powder, (depending on heat and your preference)
½ teaspoons turmeric powder
2 teaspoons coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala
2 cups blanched and diced tomatoes
2 medium potatoes
2 cups water
Salt
2 cans (12.5oz/354g) Worthington FriChik original
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

For the wet spice paste:
3 sprigs of curry leaves
½ teaspoon cardamom seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 tablespoons grated coconut, (fresh or frozen)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
10 cashew nuts
10 almonds

Directions:
Add the cashew nuts and almonds to a small bowl. Cover them with half a cup of hot tap water and let them soak for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes are up add the cashew nuts, almonds along with the water they were soaking in, into a blender. Add the rest of the ingredients for the spice paste – curry leaves, cardamom, fennel, coconut, and cilantro. Blend to a smooth paste. Set aside until you are ready to use it in the curry.

Place a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil and when it shimmers, add the onion. When the onion turns translucent add the ginger-garlic paste. Stir constantly and cook for two minutes or until the raw smell of the ginger-garlic disappears. Add the cumin seeds, chilli, turmeric, coriander, garam masala, and tomatoes. Stir occasionally and cook until the oil separates.

Next, peel and wash potatoes. Cut each into eight pieces. Add the potatoes, water and salt. Cover the dish and cook for five minutes. In the meantime, drain the FriChik and discard the gravy. Cut each chunk into four. Add the FriChik and the ground wet spice paste. Stir so everything is mixed well. Then cover the saucepan and cook on medium-low heat until the potatoes are done, about 15-20 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro. FriChik curry goes well with plain rice or rotis.

Cluster Beans – (Gavar with Kanda Lasoon Masala)

Cluster Beans2
Cluster Beans is an annual legume that grows in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Andhra and other arid regions in India. They are related to French beans but have a narrow, flat, long body with tiny pods. They are light green in color and they taste slightly bitter. They are called gavar phalli in Marathi. You will find cluster beans at Indian and ethnic grocery stores.

In India different states cook these beans in their own unique way. I combined kanda lasoon masala (onion-garlic spice mix) from Maharashtra with split Bengal gram (chana dal), a lentil frequently used in vegetable dishes in Tamil Nadu. The result was a fusion of flavors.

Thanks to my friend for bringing me a packet of this masala from India. You will find kanda lasoon masala at Indian grocery stores or you can order it on line. You could also use two teaspoons of coriander powder and one teaspoon of garam masala powder instead of the kanda lasoon masala. It will still taste great, but different. I love trying new vegetables. If you haven’t tried cluster beans, you should.

Cluster Beans – Gavar with Kanda Lasoon Masala
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves: 5

Ingredients:
1 cup split Bengal gram, (soaked for 2 hours; Chana dal)
2 dry red chillies, (soaked with Bengal gram; depending on heat and your preference)
3 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 sprig finely chopped curry leaves
1 cup finely chopped onion
3 cups cluster beans
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon kanda lasoon masala
salt
3 tablespoons water

Directions:
Put the Bengal gram into a bowl and wash in several changes of water. Cover with water and let it soak for two hours along with the dry red chillies. After it has soaked for two hours drain and put it into a food processor or blender. You want a coarse grind, so pulse/blend until the Bengal gram and chillies break up into tiny bits.

Wash and dry the cluster beans. Top and tail them. If they need stringing, just pluck the end of a cluster bean with your hand, and then pull downward; if a thick thread comes away, the bean need stringing. Do the same on the other side of the bean. The beans can then be cut into one-inch pieces.

Heat a pressure cooker over medium-high heat.  Add oil and when it shimmers add the mustard seeds. When the mustard splutter, add the curry leaves and chopped onion. When the onion turns translucent, add the cluster beans. Stir and cook the beans for two minutes. Next, add the turmeric powder, kanda lasoon masala, and salt.

Sprinkle the coarsely ground Bengal gram over the cluster beans. Add water, put the lid and weight on the pressure cooker, and turn the heat to the lowest possible point on your stove. There is hardly any water so steam will not escape. Set your timer for ten minutes. When ten minutes are over, turn off the heat. Let the pressure cooker cool down completely and then remove the weight and lid. The dal and beans would have cooked perfectly. Mix well and serve with rotis.
Cluster Beans Kanda Lasoon Masala

Vegetable Korma – Delicately Spiced Indian Vegetable Curry

Vegetable Korma2I love delicately spiced, creamy, flavorful Indian curries. When my friend asked me to make vegetable korma for a potluck, I happily obliged. Some time ago, I shared with you the recipe for Korma with Potato and Peas. In that post, I also introduced you to an interesting spice called black stone flower, (patthar ke phool in Hindi, dagad phool in Marathi and kalpasi in Tamil). If you tried the korma with potato and peas, you will find this recipe easy to follow. It’s also quite healthy.

Use a medley of vegetables, that you enjoy the most, to make this dish. I used potatoes, carrots, green beans, cauliflower, and peas. I diced and chopped them into medium size pieces so they would all cook in the same amount of time. I used cashew nuts and coconut to thicken the gravy. You will notice in the ingredients that I’ve listed 2-4 cloves, (depending on your taste). Adjust the amount of cloves and chillies to suit your taste.

Don’t let the long list of ingredients discourage you from trying this recipe. It’s a dish that you will make over and over again.

Vegetable Korma – Delicately Spiced Indian Vegetable Curry
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serve: 8

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee
1-inch piece of cinnamon, broken in half
2-4 cloves, (depending on your taste)
1 star anise
2 pieces of black stone flower, (optional)
½ a petal of mace, (optional)
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
1/8 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste
3 green chillies, (optional, depending on heat and your preference)
1 Roma tomato, (cut, deseeded & diced)
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon garam masala powder
1 can coconut milk
4 cups mixed vegetables, (diced and chopped into medium pieces)
1 cup water
4 mint leaves, (optional)
salt
2 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro

To be ground to a paste:
½-inch piece cinnamon, broken into bits
2 cardamoms, outer cover removed
2 cloves
½ bay leaf, (broken into small pieces)
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
4 small pieces of black stone flower, (optional)
10 cashew nuts, (soaked in ¼ cup hot water for 15 minutes)
½ cup grated fresh coconut

Directions:
First, prepare the ingredients to be ground. Add the dry spices (cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves, bay leaf, fennel seeds, black stone flower) to your spice grinder and powder them. Next, add the cashew nuts along with the water it was soaking in and coconut. Grind everything to a smooth paste. Set aside.

Add two tablespoons oil into a large pan and place it over high heat. Add the vegetables and fry them until they turn slightly brown around the edges. About five minutes. Remove into a large bowl. Turn the heat to medium-low. Add the remaining two tablespoons of oil into the same pan. Add the whole spices – cinnamon, cloves, star anise, black stone flower, mace, cumin, and fennel seeds. Sauté for 30 seconds and then add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion turns translucent. Add the ground ginger-garlic paste and cook until the raw smell disappears. Slit the green chillies and add. Sauté for 30 seconds and then add the chopped tomato, turmeric, chilli, coriander, cumin, and garam masala powder. Stir and cook for one minute. Add the coconut milk, vegetables, and ground paste, water, mint, and salt. Stir so all the ingredients are well combined. Cook on medium-high heat until the gravy begins to boil. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook for eight minutes. The vegetables should be cooked but still hold their shape. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Enjoy vegetable korma with plain rice and dal or rotis.