October 26, 2008

Moghlai Chanay: Chickpeas Cooked in a Moghlai Style

I couldn't decide between these two shots, so here's both of 'em:

Most of the chickpea dishes I've tried have been the ubiquitous Chana Masala and hummus, so it was refreshing to try them cooked in a different way. This recipe is pretty damn good--I love the complex blend of spices, and the cilantro gives the dish a bright piquancy. I'd also recommend removing the bay leaves, cardamom pods, and cinnamon sticks after cooking--chewing on an entire cardamom pod is NOT fun.

Moghlai Chanay: Chickpeas Cooked in a Moghlai Style
from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian, pg. 32
serves 8

2 1/2 cups dried chickpeas, picked over, washed and drained
(feel free to use 7 1/2 cups of canned chickpeas, drained)
5 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
2 bay leaves
2 small cinnamon sticks
6 whole cardamom pods
2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
1 (2-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled and mashed
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 cup plain yogurt
5 tablespoons pureed tomatoes
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons ground amchoor (or substitute 1 1/4 teaspoons lemon juice)
1 tablespoon ground roasted cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

Soak the chickpeas overnight in 8 cups of water, then drain. Cook the chickpeas in another 8 cups of water until tender, about 1 1/2 - 3 hours. Cool in cooking liquid.

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, and cardamom. Stir a few times before adding the onions, frying until they turn brown around the edges, about 8-9 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and stir for about 1 minute, then the cumin and coriander, stirring for a few seconds. Stir in the yogurt a tablespoon at a time, ensuring the yogurt is incorporated into the sauce before adding the next.

Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chickpeas with their cooking liquid, 2 cups of water, the salt, garam masala, amchoor/lemon juice, cumin, and cayenne. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Add the cilantro.


Wan Hing said...

Dude, this looks amazing. I like the second shot better. The first one has too much "blank space" if that makes sense...but what do I know?

Patricia said...

I like the second shot. But it does bother me slightly that the edges of both plates seem to be cut off? Is it because of the white border?

Anyways, definitely magazine worthy shot.

I also like how you use words like "piquancy". Work that vocab!

marissa said...

Christina, both of these are stunning - the red napkin is so painterly, I love it. I actually might prefer the first one (if I had to choose, which thankfully I don't) - I love the creamy emptiness countering all the folds and spice and color of the lower half.

Very "Dutch master" - think Rogier van der Weyden. Luscious and haunting. Bravo!

Plus, I really love chickpeas.

Christina said...

Thank you! In retrospect, I prefer the first one too. =D I love paintings by the Dutch masters - especially Jan van Eyck and Vermeer- so I'm tickled that these photos made you think of them!