Tuesday, December 29, 2009

RECIPE: Chole for the Soul

Since it’s been bone-chilling cold in my apartment these days (damn uncontrollable San Francisco steam heaters), I had a craving for something warm and spicy.  I was cleaning out my cupboards and found a bag full of Indian spices that I bought a few months ago when I went through a Bend It Like Beckham-inspired Aloo Gobi phase…which is how I ended up making a nice pot of Chole Masala last night.  It’s pretty easy, and the fun part is that you don’t have to measure anything exactly.  I’ll try to give you some measurements, but really, it’s all about “season to taste”.

You will need:

1 15-oz can of Garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 Roma tomato, chopped
1 T. tomato paste
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large piece of ginger (about as big as your thumb), minced
1 t. ground turmeric
½ t. cumin seeds
1 t. Garam Masala
2-4 chopped green chiles, or red pepper flakes (adjust to your preferred level of spiciness)
½ t. salt
Ghee, or olive oil (for vegan version)
Handful of coriander, chopped

In a heated saucepan, toast the cumin seeds.  Then add some oil and sauté the onions.  Add turmeric and a little water (so the spices don’t stick to the pan).  The add chilies, ginger, garlic, and a little more water.  Then add the tomato paste and tomatoes.  Keep stirring and adding water so you get a sauce-like consistency.  Then add the garbanzos, garam masala, and salt.  Simmer everything for 20-25 minutes (or longer) and add a handful of chopped coriander and stir it through.  Serve with basmati rice!

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