Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sunday Suppers - Chickpea Curry

After a couple of weeks of gloriously warm weather, it's turned cool again here in the valley. And what's better on a cool day than a meal that fills the house with warm spicy smells and fills your belly with the same? Not much, I'd say!

Tonight's dish is a vegetarian curry with just the right amount of heartiness coming from chickpeas (not too heavy, but still very filling). It also has carrots and peas for some color and interest. But the chickpeas are the star - and they're my fav!

Dried beans still kind of scare me, but having had success before with black beans, I decided to take the plunge and try dried chickpeas, too. This time I used my crockpot and they turned out great (without me having to worry about them scorching on the stove while I napped on the couch... gotta love lazy Sundays!).
I soaked them overnight in cold water for about 7 hours, then drained and rinsed them, put them back in the crockpot on low covered with about 3" of water and let them bubble away for a good 10 hours. Now they're just like the canned ones, but cheaper and without any salt (or who knows what else). That said... if you're short on time or scared of beans, the canned kind will do in a pinch.

Another note - I lightened up this curry by using 1/2 coconut milk and 1/2 almond milk, which I saw on "Ultimate Recipe Showdown" a while ago. You really can't tell the difference in taste, but it does significantly help lower the fat. That said, it's fine to use all coconut milk, as I have many a time. OK.. now on to the recipe!.

Chickpea Curry
(Serves 3-4)

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. curry paste
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1 clove garlic, minced
5 carrots, peeled and sliced
3/4 c. lite coconut milk (about 1/2 of a can)
3/4 c. unsweetened almond milk
1 (15 oz.) can tomatoes with green chilies
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 cup green peas

In a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium-low heat, combine oil, curry paste, cumin, cayenee, coriander and garlic. Stir constantly for 2-3 minutes until garlic and spices become fragrant. Add carrots, coconut milk, almond milk and tomatoes. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 30 minutes, add chickpeas and green peas. Continue cooking on low for 15-20 minutes until sauce has thickened and chickpeas and peas are heated through.

Serve over white or brown rice.

P.S. Happy Mother's Day to all of you moms out there! I hope someone is cooking dinner for you wonderful ladies tonight.


Anonymous said...

Yet another recipe that I must try! I've used canned chickpeas often, but I've never tried them dried. I read somewhere that they taste better, too, along with not having the extra salt, chemicals and and and. Thanks for sharing this yummy-sounding recipe, VW!

Jenn said...

It's cooled a little bit here, too.

Awesome curry. All that's missing a nice bowl of rice. :)

Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen said...

I agree, dried beans are so much better and cheaper!!! This curry looks awesome - totally up my alley!

Tangled Noodle said...

I have been meaning to use my crockpot to cook dried beans since I'm too scared to use a pressure cooker! Bean dishes are a regular feature on our dinner table, so making them from dried would not only be economical but would also open up the varieties to choose from.

I love this kind of dish: a little spicy and a lot saucy - perfect to go over rice! Chickpeas don't quite agree with me - perhaps I can sub white beans or black-eyed peas?

BTW, thanks for your comment on my current post - I'm glad I've got you thinking about dumplings but don't change your spaghetti dinner plans. It's what I'm making tonight, too! 8-D

ValleyWriter said...

Tangled - I think white beans would probably be the closest match to chickpeas. (I find chickpeas and white beans to kind of be like tofu - they pick up the flavors of whatever you cook them in. For me, black beans stand on their own a bit more.) I'd love to hear how it goes if you try it!

kathryn said...

Yummy. It's like you read my mind, 'cause I'm thinking, "That's an awful lot of trouble for dried beans...why can't you use canned ones?" and you supplied the answer.

Good girl.

I think chick peas have gotten a bad rep...kinda like lima beans. I know a few people who gag when I mention them. I think they're yummy...not unlike your recipe.