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Curried Chickpeas

 Curried Chickpeas

I would like to start off this week by thanking Genie Gratto, the Food Editor of BlogHer, for featuring Food For Vitality. Genie, you have no idea how grateful I am for your support! I cook, write, and take photos for the pure love of it all, but heck, it’s nice to be noticed once in a while. As a new food blogger, I often wonder, “will anyone find me out there in the vast world of cyberspace?” I absolutely cherish each new Facebook “like” and am thankful for any comments that come through. Thanks again to Genie and the team at BlogHer for being so helpful and making me feel welcome. I simply cannot wait to meet you all at BlogHer 2012 in New York City. It’s going to be amazing!

Hankering for a quick and easy Indian dish that is so authentic your friends will think you ordered a take away? Look no further. Whizz up the spices of India: Black peppercorn, cardamom, cinnamon stick, cloves, and cumin seeds into a powder, then quickly fry them with the chickpeas along with fresh ginger, red chili pepper, and turmeric. Serve this with steamed Basmati rice and salad, lime pickle or mango chutney on the side, and you’ve got yourself a rockin’ meal. Whoop whoop!

Curried Chickpeas

3 cups cooked chickpeas, soaked in water overnight, then cooked for 40 minutes. Quick method: 2 organic cans of cooked chickpeas
2 small Roma tomatoes, seeds removed and chopped (optional)
6 whole cloves
4 black peppercorns
2 inch piece of a cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
4-5 tablespoons of ghee (clarified butter)
1 1/2 tablespoon of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 small red chili, seeds removed and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon yellow asafoeteida powder (available at Indian markets)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon ground coriander powder
juice of a fresh lemon
sea salt to season
handful fresh cilantro (coriander) to garnish
pinch of organic sugar (optional0

1. If you are cooking your chickpeas, soak them overnight in enough water to cover the beans. Drain the next morning and cook them on medium heat until tender, about 40 minutes to 1 hour. Drain the chickpeas, saving 2 cups of the cooking water. 
2. Take 1 cup of the chickpeas and puree in a blender with a 1/4 cup soaking water. Set aside.
2. Using a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder, whizz the black peppercorn, cardamom seeds, cinnamon stick, whole cloves, and cumin seeds for 1 minute. Set aside.
3. Heat the ghee in a heavy skillet over medium heat. add the ginger and red chili, cooking for a minute. Stir in the asafoetida powder, cayenne, turmeric, ground coriander, and the ground spice mixture, cooking for a minute to wake up the spices. 
4. Stir in the lemon juice, chopped tomatoes, pureed chickpeas, whole chickpeas, and lower the heat. Add a bit more of soaking water to the chickpeas to make a gravy. Simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.

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