All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012
I am posting this easy & delightful dish after the eggplant dish in case folks might actually feel ambitious & want to make an Indian feast with more than one flavor. Both dishes are vegan – by chance, not design. I have never seen a non-vegan version – so, if you are a die hard carnivore – do not be thrown by the word. Both of these dishes seem deceptively rich despite being very, very healthy.
29 oz can chick peas (or an equivalent of fresh soaked-overnight beans – if you are really motivated)
2 medium tomatoes – quartered
16 oz fresh spinach – chopped
1 in cube fresh ginger – chopped OR 3 TBS jarred crushed ginger
3 serrano chiles – seeded & roughly chopped
6 TBS olive oil
3 tsp cumin SEEDS – not ground
3 garlic cloves
2 TBS ground coriander
2 tsp turmeric
1 TBS crushed red pepper (or to taste)
2 tsp salt
1 TBS garam masala (if you can’t find it – you can make it: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/easy-garam-masala/
15 oz can diced tomatoes (or 3 more fresh ones – chopped)
Drain & wash the chick peas. In a blender or with an immersion mixer – puree the 2 medium tomatoes with the serranos and the ginger.
Heat the oil in a pan. When hot – add the cumin SEEDS & beware the spitting & popping. They hurt if they hit you. Add the garlic. Saute for a minute then add the tomato puree and all the dry spices. Cook this for about 5 minutes until the mixture reduces by 1/4 to 1/2.
Stir in the spinach – adding a little water if it is needed to properly steam the spinach down. Cover & cook for 3-4 minutes or until the spinach is completely wilted but still vibrant. Add the chick peas & the canned tomatoes (or chopped fresh) & stir them in. You can add water if there isn’t enough gravy – or cook it down if it is too wet. Cook this for another 5 minutes or so – longer if using dried chick peas. Test a chick pea for texture & if it tastes done to you – you are good to go.
Serve over basmati rice.
2 cups basmati rice – rinsed several times in a colander
1 TBS olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp salt
20 green cardamom pods (if you can get them)
Heat the olive oil in a pan. Once hot – add the cumin seeds & the cardamom pods – again being wary of their popping & spitting. I used 20 cardamom pods because mine were a bit old. You might want to use fewer if yours are fresh & really pungent. After a minute – add the rice & stir until it is all covered in oil & the spices are well blended. Add 4 cups of water (or whatever ratio of rice to water your package suggests) & bring to a boil. Use less water for firmer rice. Once boiling – reduce heat to low & simmer, covered, for however long the rice package instructs you. Remove from heat. Fluff with a fork.