I have always been intimidated by East-Asian cuisine. I love eating it, and will try anything no matter how spicy or unique the dish, however I have always read through recipes and thought, ‘That sounds too complicated.’ Enter: Curried Chickpeas.
This recipe strikes me as an American interpretation of Thai/Indian food. I am sure that experts in this style of cooking would be appalled by the over-simplification of the recipe, but that is what makes this meal accessible for anyone to make.
There are 4 parts to this meal: The Curried Chickpeas, Coconut Rice, Toasted Naan, and Masala Chai.
-2 tbsp olive oil
-1 onion, finely diced
-2 tsp curry powder
-salt to taste
-2-4 cloves of garlic, finely diced and smashed
-2 cans of chickpeas
-1 can of coconut milk
-1 c. vegetable broth
-1-2 tbsp Sriracha
-1-2 tbsp honey
First, start the rice. It will take longer, so make the rice right now. Then, start the curried chickpeas by sautéing the onion in the olive oil until caramelized. Sprinkle the curry powder over the onions and breathe deeply for 30 seconds (count them and smell the curry: it’s meditative.) Add salt and garlic, stir it all together, and then add the remaining ingredients. Let everything simmer and stew for 10 minutes, then TASTE IT. This recipe only works if you taste it and adjust the seasoning. I felt like it was just a little off, and ended up adding another 1/2 tsp of curry, sprinkle of salt, and an extra 2 tbsp of honey. The only way to know which adjustments to make is to taste it as you make it. When it is all done, serve over the coconut rice and top with cilantro.
Naan: We bought ours from the store, brushed it with olive oil, and sprinkled it with garlic salt and cilantro before toasting it.
-2 cups of rice
-2 cups of water
-1 cup of coconut milk
Put everything on the stove together and bring to a gentle boil. Immediately turn the heat down and put the lid on. Leave at a gentle simmer for 50 minutes, or whatever time the package says. Coconut milk gives rice the best flavor and texture, but admittedly we haven’t mastered this method of cooking rice. My approach is low heat, and if the rice needs more time to cook, add small amounts of water to prolong cooking time.
Masala Chai: Here I will defer to an expert. I used this recipe exactly. Follow it exactly and you will have the best spicy chai you’ve ever tasted. I always refrigerate half to add to my coffee the next day, or drink iced in the afternoon.