4.14.2012

Curried Chickpeas and Vegetables

I think I've gotten cocky lately, lost my focus, if you will. At least that what recently botched dinners might say. Of late there's been a 4 1/2 pound corned beef brisket overcooked beyond recognition, a 3 pound turkey breast with a raw center, and a sweet potato falafel thing I desperately wanted to like but couldn't. Be soothed in knowing my debacles continue. Typing recipes on a blog does not lead to perfection.

To get my groove back I needed to prepare a winner dish. I turned to Curried Chickpeas and Vegetables from Joy of Cooking, recommended by Sister-in-law Amy. Under/over cooking nearly impossible. I served this dish to company. And they liked it, or so they said. Either way, focus has been restored.

Recipe

I recommend chopping and measuring ahead. This dish moves pretty fast once you get going and you don't want the cumin seeds, ginger and garlic to burn. Trust me.

Heat in a large skillet over medium-low heat until sizzling:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (any kind, I like extra virgin olive oil)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds (or ground cumin, instead heat the oil first then stir in cumin for 30 seconds or so, until fragrant)

Add:
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger (about 2 inches should do)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

Stir for less than a minute, only until fragrant then stir in:
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder

Cook 1 minute. Stir in:
  • 1 3/4 cups canned, drained and rinsed, chickpeas
  • 2 cups cubed peeled sweet potatoes, cut into 1-2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets and stalks, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup green beans, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth (I use Imagine), add more if it seems dry, one tablespoon at a time (too much liquid= soggy veggies)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Cover and simmer gently until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Taste halfway through cooking time to avoid mushy vegetables. Turn off the heat when the veggies are to your liking.

Now, the original recipe goes on to include adding a yogurt concoction and a jalapeno pepper and to garnish with chopped cashews or peanuts and dried coconut. Instead I just throw some plain yogurt in a bowl and let each eater add a dollop. Or skip completely.

I doubled this recipe because the leftovers keep really well. Less cooking later!