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Chickpea and Tomato Curry Recipe

I have found myself gravitating toward cooking more ethnic foods lately.  We tend to eat vegetarian or limited meat, so I find that ethnic foods give us more flavor options without meat.  Curries are one example of the no meat, high flavor ratio.  And I love the curry flavor. So complex, so good.

I’ve had this chickpea and tomato curry recipe sitting in the testing/development phase since late last year.   I made it a couple of times but just wasn’t happy with the outcome. Then I figured out why – I was not adding the curry powder in at the right time.  I’d been adding the curry powder in at the time I was adding the tomatoes and chickpeas – far too late in the process.

Curry powder, I’ve figured out, needs to be activated in hot oil to maximize the full flavor. Literally, the second ingredient in the pot after the oil.  I tried this on my eggplant curry dish and liked the results I got. This allowed me to be confident enough to go back to this recipe and try it again.  Guess what – it worked! I got a much better overall dish.

Chickpea and Tomato Curry Recipe

OK, and don’t let the amount of curry powder overwhelm you.  It’s really just over a tablespoon.  I decided to represent it in teaspoons below since I went over the tablespoon mark (for those who don’t know 3 t = 1 T).  So it’s really not that much overall.  Just enough to impart a lovely curry flavor on the dish.

Also, for this particular dish I just used the yellow curry powder that you can buy at pretty much any grocery store.  I want to make my own recipe for curry powder one day.  Maybe when I get more practice here using the pre-mixed varieties.  I just bought a new hot curry powder mixture from a Mediterranean store in my area so it’ll be a while.

Anyway, now that we’ve explore the curry part, let’s look at some other ingredients in this dish.  The chickpeas and dollop of Greek yogurt provide the protein in this dish.  If you’d prefer to make this a vegan dish, you could easily leave out the yogurt, but I do find the dish better with the yogurt.  I love how tangy Greek yogurt is.  I also recommend that you get the full fat Greek yogurt.  The fat in yogurt is good for you, and it’s ok to have it!  For what it’s worth, I always use full fat dairy products.  Never low-fat or fat-free.  That’s just how I roll.  I love the way dairy fat tastes, and I use it as one of my healthy fat sources.

The chickpeas provide the plant-based protein source in this dish. Chickpeas have a slightly nutty flavor and a creamy texture when puréed.  While you could soak and cook chickpeas from scratch, that would add a few hours of inactive preparation time to this dish.  Frankly, I prefer the canned chickpeas – a tad more expensive per pound, but you really can’t beat the convenience.  And I really like the texture – it’s a soft as you need them to be.  No guess-work involved.

When using canned tomatoes, I like to use the whole tomatoes and then either purée, chop, or crush them as I need them for the recipe.  Using whole tomatoes ensures that you receive the best quality tomato.  Only the best quality tomatoes go into a can of whole tomatoes.  When you buy crushed or chopped tomatoes, you may be getting a lower quality tomato.  You just don’t know because they’re no longer in their whole state.  Be sure to keep the juices that come with the canned tomatoes.  This will be the liquid used to create the sauce.

Tips:

  • I recommend doing a nice small dice on these vegetables (onions, celery and carrots). They will cook more quickly and uniformly this way.  It takes a little longer on prep time but leads to a better finished product.
  • If you’re not a fan of carrots, you can easily leave them out.  Substitute either more onion, celery or tomato to keep the same volume of finished product.
  • You could also use diced baby carrots if you prefer not to buy a bag of full-sized carrots.
  • If this dish is too thick for your taste, you can thin as you like with water.
Yield: 4 servings

Chickpea and Tomato Curry Recipe

Packed with flavor, this chickpea and tomato curry recipe is as healthy as it is flavorful. This is a one pot vegetarian recipe - give it a try.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup light olive oil
3 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
2 cups diced onions
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons minced ginger
2-15 ounce cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1-28 ounce can of whole tomatoes, hand crushed with juices
Garnish:  Greek yogurt

Method:

  1. In a pot with a lid, heat olive oil over medium high heat.
  2. Add curry powder and heat for about two minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add the onions, celery, carrots and cook uncovered over medium high heat for 15 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Add in garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
  5. Mix in tomatoes and chickpeas and cover the pot.
  6. When mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir every five minutes or so to prevent sticking.
  7. To serve, place chickpea curry in bowls and top each with a dollop of Greek yogurt. Stir in before eating.

Prep:30 min

Cook:50 min

Total:1 hour 20 min

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