April 25, 2011

Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry

I haven't been cooking as many Indian dishes lately as I did when I first got back into cooking in a big way, last summer.   That doesn't mean Indian isn't still on my mind a lot, though.  I've collected some Indian recipes I'm waiting to try out, and I've been working on a few Indian-inspired recipes of my own as well.  I finally tried one of those out.

One thing I love about Indian food is that the meatless dishes are just as good as the ones with meat.  Indian seasonings are quite versatile, and they're great for enhancing the flavor of vegetables without overpowering them.  Today's recipe is a good example.  Cauliflower and chickpeas are supported by fried carrots and onions and accented by classical Indian seasonings. plus a bit of yogurt added right before serving.   It's easy to make, fairly fast, and very, very flavorful.

This one turned out to be so great that Juli and I had seconds, and ended up with barely enough left over to make one lunch.  I will definitely be making this again.

Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry

yield = 4 main-dish servings (8 side-dish servings)

1                 tablespoon vegetable oil
2                 large carrots, peeled and diced
1                 large white onion, finely chopped
2                 tablespoons peeled, minced fresh ginger
2                 teaspoons minced garlic
1                 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2              teaspoon ground coriander
1/2              teaspoon black mustard seed
1/2              teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4              teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 1/2           cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2              teaspoon table salt
2                 pounds (1 medium head) cauliflower, cut into small florets
2                 cans (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2              teaspoon garam masala
1/4              cup plain low-fat yogurt
2                 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  When the oil is shimmering, add the carrots and onion.  Cook until the onions have thoroughly browned and the carrots are tender (about 8 minutes), stirring often.

Clear a spot in the center of the Dutch oven and the ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, black mustard seed, turmeric and cayenne.  Cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then add the broth and salt.  Heat until the broth is boiling, then stir in cauliflower and chickpeas, reduce heat, cover and simmer.  Stir every 5 minutes or so and cook until the cauliflower is tender (about 15 minutes).

Sprinkle with garam masala, then remove from heat and stir in the yogurt and cilantro.  Serve with rice and naan or other Indian bread. 

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