Thursday, June 7, 2012

Indian Chickpea and Potato Stew

I never had Indian food growing up.  I grew up in central NY where really there are Italians, Greeks and a smattering of other pure breds, and lots of "mutts".  I was a "mutt" with an Italian mom and a half Polish dad.  I grew up on American food, lots of Italian and some Polish dishes every now and then.    But I will tell you, upstate NY knows how to do Italian food.   But we never did Indian.
When I moved to Germany it brought me out of my comfort zone, eating some German fare, and when we moved to LA, I became reckless and ate all different kinds of foods.  Thai, Cuban and Indian were among my favorites.  We often went to an Indian place with our closest friends after church for a buffet.  Never have I tried making Indian fare and this was my first attempt.  It was probably Indian with an Italian flare, but we enjoyed it regardless of what it was.  I didn't do the yogurt and wish I had just for the variety.   

This meal is full great things, like chickpeas, garlic and onion and tumeric, which is a very powerful root derived spice (like ginger) that has countless health benefits and really, a very mild flavor.  It will turn your plastic utensils yellow though!  

Inspired by: pickyeater
Makes at least 6 servings, 1 1/4 cups each

  • 1-2 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil (I eyeball it)
  • 1-2 large onion, coarsely chopped (depending on how much you want)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoon tumeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cround coriander (opt.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • fresh ground pepper and salt to taste
  • 1 pound potatoes, (about 6-8 medium red potatoes) peeled and diced bite size
  • 1 head of cauliflower , chopped(opt.)
  • 1-2 cup(s) chicken broth (use veg. broth for vegetarian)
  • 2- 15 oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1- 14 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1- 8 oz. can tomato sauce (I used salt-free )
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3/4 cup low-fat or fat-free plain greek yogurt (optional)

Chop all your veggies. Heat oil in a Dutch oven (or a large pot) over medium heat.
Add onions to the pot and cook, stirring often, until fragrant and beginning to brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add curry powder and tumeric, cinnamon, and pepper; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Add potatoes, 1 cup broth and salt; bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add chickpeas and tomatoes; stir to combine.
Bring the stew to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally and adding more broth, if needed, until the potatoes are tender, 15-25 minutes. Stir in and/or top with cilantro.
Once you’re ready to eat, you can serve this with naan, over brown rice or topped with yogurt. An alternative way to serve this is to toast up some whole wheat burger buns, and use this as the burger “filling” along with some yogurt drizzled on top to moisten it and some chopped red onion for texture.
I chose to have mine with jasmine brown rice, with some fresh baked naan.

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