April 16, 2015

Spring with green chickpeas curry

Green chana curry

Last week we went to Detroit to see the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo exhibit at Detroit Institute for the Arts. It was a beautiful, inspiring and amazing experience looking at all the painting and the two artists journey in 1930s Detroit. I saw a whole different city different yet similar to today's Detroit . I also loved the 3-minute silent films which captured the city, the artists and their work.

Here is what the New York Times wrote about the exhibit:
Diego Rivera, best known of the Mexican muralists, to Detroit in April 1932, accompanied by his much younger wife, Frida Kahlo, also an artist. Over the next 11 months, Rivera researched, designed and painted the frescoes that cover the four vaulting walls of the museum’s courtyard, now known as the Rivera Court. It features heroic scenes of muscular workers and even more idealized earth mothers grasping sheaths of wheat or armloads of fruit. All told, the “Detroit Industry” frescoes are probably as close as this country gets to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Middle easter store visit
On the way back, we stopped by in different stores in Dearborn, eating and shopping. We had a wonderful lunch, some rose water ice-cream and picked up a whole lot of grocery at Middle Easter stores that I am going through slowly.

Green chana curry
I picked up some fresh green chickpeas. Nothing shouts spring like these chickpeas. Fresh, crunchy and faintly aromatic they transported me to my childhood where I would roam through my mother's vegetable garden picking them up and eating them. My mother would shout, "wait for a few more days" from the window.

So, of course after I had peeled them from their pods,  I called my parents asking them how to cook these little chickpeas.

A conversation ensued that went a little like:

"choto-choto kore aloo kat" (cut potatoes small)
"koto choto?" (how small)

You get the gist. :)

And soon a curry was bubbling away which made for a delicious weekend lunch.

(serves 2-3)
1 1/2 cups fresh chickpeas
1 1/2 potatoes chopped small in 1" cubes
1 medium onion - chopped thinly
1 tspoon grated ginger
1 big tomato - chopped thinly

1/2 tspoon turmeric powder
1/2 tspoon coriander powder
1/2 tspoon cumin seed powder
1/2 tspoon ghee
2 tbspoon oil
salt to taste
1 tbspoon fresh chopped cilantro (to garnish)


1/2 tspoon cumin seeds
2 bayleaves
1 pinch asafoetida
2 green chillies

Green chana curry
Put the shelled chickpeas in a pressure cooker with some salt and 1/4 tspoon turmeric and 2 cups of water and cook it for two whistles. Let it cool.

In another pan, heat oil and temper it with asafoetida, cumin seeds, bayleaves and green chillies.

Then add the grated ginger and onions and saute it on medium flame for about 3-4 minutes till they start to turn brown.

Add the chopped tomatoes, rest of the turmeric powder, cumin and coriander seed powder and saute it together. Close the lid and cook for a couple of minutes. Mix all the ingredients well and then add the potatoes and salt.

Let it cook for another 3-4 minutes. Then add the chickpeas and 1 cup water from the pressure cooker. Let it cook for 7-8 minutes till the chickpeas and potatoes are cooked and the gravy starts to thicken.

Add the ghee and take it off the heat.

Green chana curry
Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve warm. It goes well with rice and also with naan, roti and paratha.

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