After work yesterday I went out to explore my new neighborhood, strolling past farms and meadows and through the woods.
It did my heart and body much good to be out in nature again. :-)
On Wednesday my dear friend Deb came over for dinner, and while the rice finished cooking we took an evening ramble out to my creek. Mmm, it was gorgeous! The creek babbled gently as the sun set through the trees and brisk breezes brought gusts of fresh air from the woods. Everything is so lush and green along the banks now. I just love it. :-)
The fresh air made us hungry and we headed back to the house for dinner. Deb is one of those lovely folks who is actually pleased when you experiment on them with new foods (love that!!) so I tried out a vegetable curry from Madhur Jaffrey's "From Curries to Kebabs: Recipes from the Indian Spice Trail", and served it over brown basmati rice.
Jaffrey says that this curry is a great favorite at wedding banquets in Guyana, while in India they serve it without cabbage.
The curry features chickpeas, potatoes and cabbage simmered with fried onions, garlic, peppers, curry powder and roasted cumin. It turned out even better than I'd hoped! Somehow the textures and flavors are perfectly suited to each other, resulting in an almost creamy curry that satisfies without feeling heavy.
Chickpea, Potato and Cabbage Curry
What lovely thing are you looking forward to this weekend? :-)
1 cup dried chickpeas
1 cup chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 wiri-wiri peppers or 3 bird's eye chilies, chopped (I didn't have either so I added a pinch of cayenne)
4 Tbsp corn, peanut, or olive oil
1 Tbsp hot curry powder (I used mild)
1 tsp roasted and ground cumin seeds (I only had powder)
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4" squares (I didn't peel mine)
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 1/2 cups green cabbage, cut into 1/2 inch squares
- Soak chickpeas overnight in 5 cups of water. Drain the next day, put in a pan, add 5 cups fresh water and bring to a boil. Cover. reduce heat to low, and cook very gently for 1-3 hours, or until chickpeas are very tender. Add boiling water if necessary.
- Drain chickpeas, reserving broth. Pour liquid into measuring cup and add water to make 2 1/2 cups.
- Put onion, garlic, peppers and 4 Tbsp water into blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour oil into soup pot over medium high heat. Put in paste from blender. Stir and fry for 2-3 minutes, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook another 2-3 minutes, removing lid to stir frequently.
- Add curry powder and roasted cumin. Stir ones and put in chickpeas, potatoes, salt, and the reserved liquid. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat and cook gently, stirring occasionally, for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- Add cabbage and a further 1 cup of water (I used chicken broth). Stir and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes, or until cabbage has just softened.
- Taste for salt before serving.