This vegetarian entrée is a great introduction to Indian food--subtly spiced with garam masala, curry, and turmeric, the latter two of which can be found in the spice section of your supermarket. Garam masala, a mixture of ground spices such as cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, and black peppercorns, is often found in gourmet grocery stores or in the Middle Eastern sections of supermarkets. (Recipe by the author of four cookbooks, including The Healthy Cuisine of India.)
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in tomato and next 5 ingredients (tomato through pepper). Cook 8 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally. Stir in chickpeas and garam masala; cook for 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon cilantro. Serve over Peanut Rice.
This recipe is useful, flexible and simple... I had to try it. Here are some changes I made:
1. Omitted the sugar
2. Added 1/2 tsp red pepper
3. Also added 1 Tbsp chili sambal (ground chili paste, cause I like it HOT)
4. Substituted finely julienned (thinly sliced) yellow bell peppers for onions.
5. Add about 1 cup water after everything is thrown in there and boiling in order to create a good broth and make it more of a soup. I felt like this recipe actually benefited from using canned (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes. These add some of the sugar that I omitted and have better texture. Regular tomatoes tend to shrivel up a bit with heat. The chili sambal added so much to this dish, I highly recommend it, if you can take the heat.
Gave it five stars because it is one of those dishes you can mix around to your liking. Don't like the onions? Just sub in bell peppers. Too much heat? reduce the red pepper. Many ingredients can be added/exchanged, just find what you like.
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