We all relax into some form of comfort food to be at ease,happy & at times when we feel nostalgic.The soul soothing dish varies from home to home but the joy,ease,exhilaration it brings about after one bite,sip or munch, far better with its aroma when it gets cooked is common to all. There are many dishes which were a part of growing up and others which we have adopted for quick and easy food and have stuck to its simplicity.Both are comforting.
For us,this stew is what we have loved devouring as a child and it makes to the table at least once a week till date. The enticing aroma which wafts in the air not only makes our sweet memories alive but also makes us smile cause it is so comforting while this gets made.
So,whether or not it is your comfort food,you can always enjoy this delicious stew as a scrumptiously easy treat....who knows? It may suddenly become your new "comforting bowl"... J
Serves : Makes a curry to serve 4 people.
Ingredients required :
Indian chickpeas after soaking
boiled till tender but holding shape
staple ingredients used for a curried comfort
*1.5 cups Indian chickpeas (kala chana) soaked in hot water for 6-7 hours and cooked till tender but holding shape (if this kind of chickpeas is not ready at hand then scroll down to Blogger's Keyboard section for yummy variations/ we pressure cooked them with sufficient water and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for 1 whistle in high & 3 whistles in medium)
*1 medium sized onion peeled, cleaned & roughly chopped
*1 inch piece ginger peeled and quartered
*5 thick cloves of garlic peeled and slightly crushed
*1 inch stick whole cinnamon
*2 small bay leaves/1 large bay leaf
*1.5 tablespoon refined oil
*1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
*1/3 teaspoon red chili powder
*2 table spoons tomato puree
*1 teaspoon curry powder
*1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
*1/4 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
Puree the onion, ginger and garlic into a smooth paste adding ½ spoon of water. Set aside.
ready for pureeing...
perfectly smooth for a rich curry
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add cinnamon, bay leaves and stir to release their aroma into the oil.
spices fried till they release their aroma
added pre-made puree to skillet
sizzling in oil as it cooks
Add the prepared onion-ginger-garlic puree and with the back of a ladle stir in a clockwise direction to cook the paste. This method not only aids uniform cooking but also prevents burning. After a minute add turmeric powder and stir to mix.
added turmeric...golden hue
Turn heat to high and pour the remaining ½ tablespoon oil. Now add the tomato puree and stir cook the same way till well blended and the raw smell disappears (about a minute or two).
added tomato puree for some tang
Turn heat to medium and keep stirring clockwise cooking the paste till much of the moisture evaporates.
as it cooks,excess moisture evaporates...
Finally, add the curry, garam masala,chilli and cumin powders and stir clockwise till flavors blend well.
spice powders...add magic to curries
Simmer heat and stir vigorously till the paste starts to turn brown but does not burn.
well browned but not burnt...
Now add cooked chickpeas along with the stock(it makes the stew all the more flavorful) and stir to mix. Turn heat to high and let it come to a boil.
added chickpeas.stock and stirred
mixture starts boiling
Season with salt,cover and cook in medium-low till flavors blend well(about 15 minutes).
seasoned,covered and simmering
ready to eat!
Turn off heat. Serve warm with steamy white rice/rustic bread/roti/paratha/puris or even kachoris....just like other stews,if this one is left for some hours before serving it tastes even better...
AFrom The Blogger’s Keyboard
Instead of these brown chickpeas you can opt for using dried yellow/green peas or even garbanzo beans…in all ways it tastes yummy.
Soak cleaned peas in hot water for 6-7 hours, strain and rinse…then cook it in fresh water and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda (it helps soften the chickpeas well).
Cook the peas till soft but not deformed. We like it really tender so use a pressure cooker to make it quick and fuss free.
We use the stock of the cooked peas as it is rich in nutrients and adds a lot of flavor to the stew. You may use plain water instead if needed.
The amount of heat while cooking the spice paste is very crucial…it helps cook making moisture evaporate and blend flavors well without burning it. The pictures will make all of us do it right.
As mentioned, this stew gets yummier after some hours. So, leftovers if any are always welcome.
We have added salt only during the last stage as we restrain from consuming too much…but you can add a pinch while cooking the chickpeas too…J
A VERY IMPORTANT NOTE :
Different masala powders add different flavors....so the amount of garam masala or curry powder used in this dish varies as per taste. By now we have observed that while most store bought masala powders give more flavor to curries when added during final stages of cooking the bhuna (as mentioned in this recipe), a few masala powders (including our homemade garam masala powder) give best results when added while the gravy (bhuna masala and water) is simmering. So, please check out what works best for you. Besides, care must be taken to simmer and cook bhuna masala while making a red/brown gravy to prevent overcooking of masala powders.
Have A Bowlful Of Comfort & Happy Cooking!!!
Try out Mini Cheese Kachoris with this stew for a scrumptious feast...