Indian inspired food is what my taste buds have been craving lately. Luckily it is also always a big winner with my family. When I saw this classic Punjabi dish, called masaledar chholay, in one of my cooking magazines it made it on the dinner table the same day.
The recipe is very straight forward and easy to assemble. There is no need to make a special trip to the Indian grocery store for seldom used ingredients. You should be able to use your pantry staples.
Chickpeas and tomatoes get infused with your typical Indian spice mixtures like cumin, coriander, ginger, and garlic. Cayenne pepper and jalapeños provide the necessary heat. I omitted the jalapeños since I felt it was already spicy enough with just the cayenne pepper for my European taste palate. My pantry was low on chickpeas, so I substituted a can of navy beans which turned out very well.
I have cooked this Indian chickpea dish with its spicy tomato sauce three times already since I first discovered it. If you love Indian food, this is definitely a recipe not to miss!
* 8 garlic gloves, chopped
* 2 jalapeños, chopped (I omitted them)
* 2-inch (5 cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
* 1/4 cup vegetable oil
* 1 very big onion, cut into 1/4-inch (6 mm) dice
* 2 tablespoons ground cumin
* 1 tablespoon coriander
* 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 1 1/2 cups (378 g) canned diced tomatoes
* 1 can 15 ounce (425 g) chickpeas (original recipe calls for two cans of chickpeas and no navy beans)
* 1 can 15 ounce (425 g) navy beans
* 2 cups (500 ml) water
In a mini food processor, combine the garlic, jalapeños and ginger and process to a paste. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Add the onions and cook over moderately high heat until sizzling, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are browned, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and simmer over moderate heat until thickened, about 6 minutes. Add the chickpeas and water and simmer until the chickpeas are flavored with the gravy, about 8 minutes. Season the chickpeas with salt, garnish with the cilantro and serve.
Serve with yogurt and naan.
Adapted from Chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s article in my copy of the Food & Wine Magazine, March 2011.