Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Easy Peasy (OK, not Peas -- Garbanzos)


Wadya do when you pop awake at 6am, don't really feel up to going to the gym yet, but can't wait to get cracking? Plan the kids' lunch....


I love garbanzos: they're nutritious (I think), extremely adaptable and can be cooked up in a snap if you're ok with canned goods. Seriously, all you need is a medium sized onion, half a tomato (yes, half), oil, ginger and garlic pastes, garam masala, mustard seeds, a 15 oz can of garbanzos and a small pot.


Prep:


  • Cut the onion so that you have a little less than a quarter set aside

  • Chop the larger bit into chunks, and do the same to hal a tomato

  • Blend the chunks of tomatoes and onion with a teaspoon each of garlic (diced or paste) and ginger (preferrably the paste)

  • Blend till it's just short of a smooth paste

  • Chop the rest of the onion into small squares

  • Drain the liquid from garbanzo can

I like flavoring my oils lightly - in this case, tossing in a small pinch of mustard seeds into the oil as it heats. Don't let the oil get to smoking point, but wait for a couple of minutes so that the seeds pop when they're introduced in the oil. Careful - step back a tad so you don't get a seed popping out onto you.


Pop in the chopped onion (NOT the paste, yet). Fry till they start turning brown. Put in a spoon-ful of garam masala and stir this around for about a minute on a medium flame. Pour in the garbanzos, and stir them around till they're all coated with the garam masala/ onion mix. Wait a couple of minutes, pour in the blended onion/tomato/ginger/ garlic paste. Add a tea-spoon of salt and let simmer for about 10 minutes. You need to let the dish cook for at least that long, or you'll have the odd taste of uncooked, blended onions. Not a personal favorite.


If you're new to Indian cooking, you might want to pass on the mustard seeds and maybe cut down on the garam masala. Additionally, you might use just half the blend (you can put it in the fridge to add flavor to another curry, but use it within about 3 days or it ferments), and add some water to get enough sauce.


I usually serve it with parathas (Indian flat breads) that I buy frozen and cook on a tava.


The whole meal takes about 20 minutes to assemble!

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