Saturday, June 1, 2013

Chickpeas with Spinach and Mustard Seeds

This is an incredibly quick, easy, and healthy dish that has a surprising depth of flavour. It does rely on having a few Indian ingredients pre-made, but the pastes freeze beautifully, so it's well worth making a large batch and freezing them in plastic bags to cut off pieces as needed.

One year ago: Apricot Chicken
Two years ago: Bourbon Lemonade with Maple Syrup
Three years ago: Blackberry Coffee Cake

Chickpeas with Spinach and Mustard Seeds (from 660 Curries)

2 tbsp Ghee or canola oil
1 tsp black or yellow mustard seeds
1 tbsp ginger paste
2 tbsp fried onion paste (I can't find the original recipe, but it's blended caramelized red onion and a bit of water)
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp Sambhar masala
2 tsp coarse salt
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 lb spinach leaves, finely chopped

1. Heat ghee in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds, cover, and cook until they've stopped popping, 30 seconds.
2. Lower heat to medium and add ginger paste. Stir-fry until light brown, 30 seconds.
3. Stir in onion paste, tomato paste, Sambhar masala, salt, and chickpeas. Stir. Add 2 cups water and heat to boil.
4. Add spinach, several handfuls at a time, stirring until wilted.
5. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer covered until sauce has thickened, 8 - 10 minutes.

Sambhar masala
1/2 cup curry leaves
1/2 cup dried red chiles, stems removed
1/4 cup yellow split peas
1/4 cup coriander seeds
2 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp fenugreek seeds
1 tbsp black or yellow mustard seeds
1 tbsp white poppy seeds
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tbsp sesame oil or canola oil

1. Combine all spices in medium bowl. Drizzle oil over them and toss well.
2. Preheat medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add mixture and roast until curry leaves curl up, chiles blacken, split peas darken, etc, 3 - 4 minutes.
3. Transfer to plate to cool.
4. Grind in batches in spice grinder. Mix batches together.

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