zingerella: Capital letter "Z" decorated with twining blue and purple vegetation (Default)
( Mar. 4th, 2012 10:28 pm)
 A little bit ago, [personal profile] commodorified  held a Food Security carnival, with lots of lovely posts on cooking, shopping, and eating. I've posted a lot about cooking in the past, but missed out on this one. Tonight, though, I tried a new recipe and I was pretty happy with the results. It occurred to me that being relatively simple, relatively inexpensive, filling, and yummy, it would be a good one to share.* 

Herewith, then, I present to you White Lady's Aloo Channa. It's based on this recipe,  but because I don't have a have a pressure cooker, and I was short some ingredients, I created a simplified version. This goes nicely over rice, so put a cup of rice on to cook when you start chopping, and it should be done by the time you're ready to eat. 

1 tbsp cooking oil, 1 tbsp butter
1 cooking onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
2 heaping tablespoons prepared Indian curry paste (or follow the instructions in the linked recipe to make your own). I used Patak's mild, and it was fine, though next time I'll start with spices and work from there. 
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 – 1 tsp red pepper flakes. If you want it hotter, you can used chopped hot peppers of whatever variety you like, but I didn't have any to hand. 
1 tsp ground cumin
 2 potatoes (fist-sized, roughly)
1 large fresh tomato, chopped OR 1/2 can tomatoes
1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed
Chopped cilantro (optional)

Chop the onion into roughly 1/4-inch pieces. Scrub and chop the potatoes into 1-inch cubes
Heat the oil and butter in a deep frying pan over medium heat.

1. Heat the oil and butter in a deep frying or medium-sized saucepan pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, curry paste, and mustard seeds, and cook until the onions are clear, about 10 minutes (but go by the clarity of the onions, not by the clock. If the onions start to brown, turn the heat down).
2. When the onions are clear, add the ground cumin, and cook for 30 seconds. 
3. Add the chopped potatoes, and stir to coat with all the fragrant curry goodness. Add the tomatoes. If you're using whole canned tomatoes, smoosh them with a wooden spoon to break them up. Add the chickpeas. 
4. Cover your frying pan, and let everything cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20–30 minutes. When it's ready, garnish with the chopped cilantro, if you're using it. 

This makes enough for two or three people, but it scales up quite easily. If you're being very economical, use a cup of dried chickpeas, soaked and cooked in place of the canned. It tasted pretty good this way, but I imagine it would be even better with turmeric, garam masala, and curry leaf, instead of prepared curry paste; I just didn't have the spices on hand, and I did have a jar of Patak's, so that's what I did this time.