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answers to questions about Indian chickpea curry

RBrown had some questions about the chickpea curry so I figured I'd
send the answers to the list.

   >Where does the "curry" come in as an ingedient, am I  missing something? 
   >Also, the garam marsala, is this the "wine" marsala you speak of? And, 
   >gingerroot, can something else be substituted, or, can one just use some 
   >powdered ginger? Does the final product taste sweet, spicy? Thanks.

I don't think that all curry dishes have "curry powder" or even "curry
leaves" (an entirely different thing from what goes into curry
powder.) I think it refers mostly to the fact that there is a spiced
sauce. I'm sure that someone will have a more proper explanation of
what constitutes a curry.

Most people think of curry powder as being something that has
significant amounts of turmeric, cumin, and coriander. There are lots
of varieties of curry powder.

I have a [Penzey's brand] bottle of Punjabi Style Garam Masala. The
ingredents on the label are: coriander, black pepper, cardamom,
cinnamon, charnushka (which is like a black sesame seed), caraway,
cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Other styles of Garam Masala exist. I
suspect that garam masala probably translated to "spice mix."  If you
do a web search, you can find recipes and proportions for making your
own garam masala spice mixture.

For the ginger root, I always use fresh ginger and store a peeled
chunk in a small jar of sherry. This way, I can chop off a piece of
ginger as I need it or else use a flavored sherry when cooking Asian
dishes. (I'm also trying the ginger-storing method where you just
plant it in a small flowerpot.) 

The recipe is mildly spicy with a tomatoey sauce but the sauce
has a nice texture to it because of the tiny bits of green pepper and
onion. You could make it more spicy with chili powder if you want. It
not really sweet but it's not sour or tart either. If you like sweet,
perhaps you can serve it with a chutney.

Also, here's the recipe again in case you need to refer to something.


Adapted from a recipe by Indian Model [and cookbood author] Padma
Lakshmi. Got the original recipe from the TV Food Network web page.

2 onions, quartered 
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped 
6 large firm, ripe tomatoes  (I used a can of tomatoes)
2 tablespoons chopped gingerroot 
1 tablespoon Garam Masala 
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder, or to taste 
Salt, to taste 
2 (15-ounce) cans chick peas or garbanzo beans, drained and 
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste 
1 to 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro, or to taste 

In a blender or food processor puree the onions, green pepper,
tomatoes and gingerroot. Put puree in a saucepan and cook, stirring
occasionally, for 20 minutes. Add the Garam Masala and chili powder
and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the salt and chick
peas and cook, stirring, until heated through.

Stir in the lemon juice and cilantro. Serve the curry over rice or
with warmed tortillas.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings