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Curried Chickpeas with Fresh Ginger and Cilantro from Gourmet Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Lynn Alley
SELECTED BY THE MAGAZINE OF YOGA STAFF
Excerpted from Gourmet Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Lynn Alley. Copyright © 2010 by Lynn Alley.
Although I am a food and wine writer, and have partaken of many very elegant meals prepared by professional kitchen artists and craftspeople, I admit that some of my favorite meals have been the simplest. Fried okra, just picked from a friend’s garden and piping hot on a paper towel. Warm, fresh-picked tomatoes that have never seen the inside of the refrigerator, dusted with a pinch of salt. Bread fresh from a Spanish oven with a cooling gazpacho of tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions.
It is my hope that the recipes in this book will honor the traditions of those people who have used what they had in their kitchens, pantries, and gardens in countries around the world.
Some of the dishes (such as the Italian and French recipes) come from cultures where “bare bones basic” works. Some (like the Indian and Mexican recipes) come from cultures that have traditionally drawn upon a more complex mélange of ingredients and cooking techniques.
All the dishes, however, are vegetable-based and reflective of the cultures from which they are drawn, and hence timely for the modern American kitchen, in terms of both health interests and economic considerations, in a world where many of us are realizing that we can live well and happily on a lot less than what we’ve been conditioned to believe.
Most important, recipes without meat make a statement of compassion for the animals cruelly confined to factory farms throughout the world. Whether or not we consumers choose to see and acknowledge their suffering, it exists and we can choose to be a party to it or not through our food choices.
Curried Chickpeas with Fresh Ginger and Cilantro
Serves 6 to 8
As anyone familiar with Indian food knows, chickpeas are one of the most common types of legumes found on Indian tables. In this popular recipe, the spices and fresh ingredients are added at the very end of the cooking time to preserve optimum flavor and freshness. Regulate the heat by the amount of cayenne you use.
2 cups dried chickpeas
6 cups water
1 red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup sesame or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
4 green cardamom pods
1 1/2 teaspoons pure chile powder
1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
Salt to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
Yogurt, for serving (optional)
3 fresh serrano chiles, seeded, deveined, and cut into julienne, for garnish
A few fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
Thoroughly rinse the chickpeas and place them in the slow cooker insert along with the water. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, until the chickpeas are tender.
In a large sauté pan, brown the onion in the sesame oil until dark brown in color, about 15 minutes.
Combine the cumin seeds, peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, chile powder, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, and cayenne in an electric coffee mill or a mortar and pestle and grind to a coarse powder.
Add the coarsely ground spices to the onion and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, then add the onion and spices to the cooked chickpeas. Recover and continue cooking for another 30 to 60 minutes.
Using a handheld immersion blender, purée some of the chickpeas in the insert to thicken the mixture.
Add salt to taste, then stir in the lemon juice. Ladle into bowls, add a dollop of yogurt, and garnish with the chile slices and cilantro leaves.
Suggested Beverage: I would enjoy a light- to medium-bodied white wine, such as a Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, or Spanish Rueda or Albariño.
Excerpted from Gourmet Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Lynn Alley. Copyright © 2010 by Lynn Alley. Excerpted by permission of Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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