Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chick Pea Curry

My dear friend Deanna taught me to love curry and also taught me how to make it. I've changed things up a little to suit my tastes and I put different things it it but the base of curry remains the same as has she taught me. There are so many variations that can be made with this dish. My favourites are:

chick pea and potato
chick pea, beef and potato
chick pea, chicken and mushroom

Other vegetables that go well in the curry are carrots, peas, cauliflower, mushrooms, green or yellow beans. You can also used 1-2 chopped tomatoes instead of the tomato sauce. Personally I like the consistency of the tomato sauce rather than the chopped tomatoes.

2 onions, finely sliced
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
¼-½ teaspoon ginger powder
2 teaspoons of paprika
2 heaping teaspoons of curry powder (my favourite brand is Bolst's)
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups (approximately) cooked chick peas (and rinsed if canned)
3 potatoes, peeled and diced into large pieces
1 cup (approximately) tomato sauce
large hand full of cilantro leaves, rinsed well and chopped
2 Tablespoons lemon juice (optional)

In a medium to large sized pot, cook the onions in oil until soft and brown. Add a little bit of water as necessary to keep them from burning. In a small bowl add ginger powder to a couple of tablespoons of water. In another small bowl add paprika and curry powder to a few tablespoons of water. When onions are soft add the water/ginger mixture and the minced garlic to the onions. Cook for a minute or two then add the paprika and curry mixture and continue to cook for a couple more minutes. Add small amounts of water during this time if necessary to keep ingredients from sticking to the pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

This is where the variations happen. I happen to love chick peas so I always add them. I usually use 2 cans. I just use whatever size and brand happens to be on sale. The most common sized can of chick peas that I use has approximately 2 cups in it so I would estimate 4 cups of cooked chick peas for this recipe. I rinse them before using them. Add chick peas and potatoes to cooking mixture. Add water to pot, not quite enough to cover everything. Simmer gently until potatoes are tender. Add tomato sauce, chopped cilantro, lemon juice and remove from heat. Let sit for a few minutes before serving. It tastes even better the next day!

Serve over basmatic rice with some sour cream.

If adding beef or chicken to curry: Add with the chick peas and simmer gently until the meat is tender. The beef will take a lot longer than the chicken. Do not add the potatoes until the meat is tender. Continue as above by adding the tomato sauce and cilantro after everything else has already been cooked.

Cornmeal Muffins

I love cornmeal muffins. Always have. Always will. They are a staple in our home. I always used to use a recipe that my mother gave me but once I used the recipe off the package of cornmeal (Purity brand) and now that is my favourite recipe. So easy. So yummy.

3/4 cup Cornmeal
1 ¼ cups milk
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Combine cornmeal and milk and leave to sit for 10 minutes. (If it sits longer than that it's no problem. I've left my sitting for hours when I've gotten busy with no ill effect).

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Add egg and oil to cornmeal mixture. Mix well. Add to dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Grease (or spray) muffins tins. Makes 12 muffins. Bake @ 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes.