Life seems busier than usual. I feel like I’m swallowed by work and while I’m not complaining one bit, it makes day to day tasks a bit more difficult. I usually do most of the grocery shopping, but as I was swamped in HTML code and design dilemmas, I had asked my husband to pick up a few things. Like a can of tomatoes. It seemed easy enough, a no-brainer.
A few days later, I decided to try out a recipe that I had bookmarked ages ago. A delicious-sounding chana masala from Orangette. I had everything so I got right to work. The onions in this recipe do take some time to caramelize, but other than that, this recipe is a snap. Easy to make at the end of a week filled with hard work.
After I had sauteed the spices, I opened the can of tomatoes and suddenly realized that my husband had purchased crushed tomatoes rather than whole tomatoes. Crushed is just another word for pureed into oblivion. I never buy crushed tomatoes and truthfully, I was crushed. It had been a long week and now I was worried about a kink in my plans. But I dumped them in and continued. The result? Delicious. Intensely flavoured with tomato and beautifully spiced with the garam masala and cardamom, it was a great meal. Cornelius topped off his plate with yogurt while I went with a squeeze of lemon. What? Me worry?
(adapted from Orangette)
2 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 dried red chilis (or 1/2 t red chili flakes)
1 t cumin seeds
½ t ground ginger
2 T garam masala paste (I use Patak’s brand)
3 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 t kosher salt
2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
lemon wedges, optional
In a large heavy pot, heat the olive oil and add in the onions. Saute over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the onions take on a deep caramel colour. The more colour the better here, so wait it out. Turn down the heat and add in the spices, stirring until fragrant. Add in a quarter cup of water and scrape down the bottom of the pan. Next, dump in the tomatoes and salt, turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Stir things a bit and when the mixture has reduced a bit, add in the chickpeas and bring it all down to a simmer. Cook for another 15 minutes to heat through the chickpeas and serve over rice with a squeeze of lemon (or plop on some yogurt, if that’s your style). Remember, there are a few cardamom pods floating around in there, so pull them out or remember to tell your guests to watch out for them.