Monday, September 26, 2011

Meatless Monday's Indian Flair

I'm sure I have probably mentioned once or twice how much I love Indian food and so tonight's dinner was Chana Masala which are curried chickpeas with a side of Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes. The Chana Masala is what I cooked the dried chickpeas for. I love the lingering heat left in my mouth as I write this post - just lingering, not too hot. When I planned the menu, I had 3 tomatoes sitting in my fresh veggie/fruit basket and I proceeded to use two of them during the week as part of my lunch. The recipe called for 2 cups of chopped fresh tomatoes or a 15 ounce can of whole tomatoes and since the only thing I had in the pantry was a 28 ounce of crushed tomatoes, I decided to substitute a 1/2 can of that instead. The crushed tomatoes made the dish was too tomato-y (is that a word?). This is the same problem I have had with my Chicken Tikka Masala which makes me realize I need to make that recipe again. I am now craving Chicken Tikka and homemade Samosas which I will have to incorporate into my menu next week.

The side dish of Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes paired nicely with the Chana Masala since a lot of the same ingredients and spices were in both of the dishes.

I'm looking forward to trying the Chana Masala recipe again with the appropriate tomato component since the spices in this dish were spectacular.

From the Smitten Kitchen website adapted from a Madhur Jaffrey recipe
Chana Masala

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium onions, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 fresh, hot green chili pepper, minced
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 tablespoon amchur powder (dried mango powder)
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 cups tomatoes, chopped small or 1 15-ounce can of whole tomatoes with their juices, chopped small
2/3 cup water
4 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 lemon (juiced)

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic, ginger and pepper and sauté over medium heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Turn heat down to medium-low and add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, cumin seeds, amchur, paprika and garam masala. Cook onion mixture with spices for a minute or two, then add the tomatoes and any accumulated juices, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pan. Add the water and chickpeas. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, then stir in salt and lemon juice.

From Smitten Kitchen website via Gourmet
Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes

1 (1 3/4-lb) head cauliflower, cut into 3/4-inch-wide florets
1 1/4 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeño, including seeds
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup water

Accompaniment: lemon wedges

Put oven rack in upper third of oven and place a shallow baking pan on rack. Preheat oven to 475°F.

Toss cauliflower and potatoes together in a bowl with 3 tablespoons oil, cumin seeds, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread in hot baking pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is tender and browned in spots and potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes.

While vegetables are roasting, cook onion, garlic, jalapeño, and ginger in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until very soft and beginning to turn golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Stir in water, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet, then stir in roasted vegetables. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.

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