The Recipe: Chickpea Curry
Or what to eat when the world goes insane.
I like to think that cooking is my love language.
It’s how I show the people around me that they matter and that I care for them. When someone cooks for me, it’s the most precious gift I can receive, hands-down. Food brings people together, it gets us to laugh, to reflect on old times, and to build extraordinary futures. Sometimes, food becomes the emotional medicine we need for whatever is ailing us at the moment.
This is a rough time for our global community, watching with bated breath the destruction that war causes on the everyday lives of people — regardless of who they are or where they come from. None of us is immune to what is happening in Eastern Europe, and with countless news stories at all hours of the day, hopelessness is the result of information fatigue.
Like many around the world, I’ve been cooking a lot during this time just to keep my head together. I’m pretty sure that my butcher thinks I manage a family of 5 with the amount of free-range chicken I bought over the weekend.
This recipe is dedicated to my sweet friend Yesim, who, despite life’s greatest and most devastating challenges, manages to remain pure at heart. She is incredibly thoughtful and reminds me often to step back, breathe, and appreciate what I have. She is a beacon of sanity during turbulent times.
So what do you do when the world goes insane? When all feels lost? You make a savory Chickpea Curry with a side of white rice, sit on the couch and take in the various notes of cumin, fresh parsley, and curry powder. Essentially, you let the sauce hug your soul while you sit back and relax.
I’ve cooked this particular dish countless times and it’s always been a hit for guests, and I recently made it as a gift package for Yesim and her family. Incredibly easy to put together, it just affirms that a warm bowl of food has the power to make one feel comforted.
These are complex and unpredictable times and I’m thinking of you all — feel free to write to me if you have thoughts, or need someone to rant to.
As always with all my recipes, change things up to meet your needs, and tag me with your photos/questions at #cookingwithJoanInItaly
1 can of pre-cooked Chickpeas
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
4 russet potatoes, chopped in quarts
1 tomato, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 cup of vegetable broth
1 teaspoon of curry powder
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
½ cup of heavy cream (or milk)
1/4 cup of water
½ cup of freshly chopped parsley
Step 1: Put two tablespoons of olive oil in a pan, and then add the chopped onions, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Sautee for about 4-7 minutes on medium heat, or until the ingredients become translucent and soft.
Step 2: Add the chopped peppers and tomatoes, continuing to saute for another 3-5 minutes until ingredients are further softened.
Step 3: Mix in the chopped carrots, potatoes, and tomato paste and continue to cook for about 7 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, curry powder, cumin, vegetable broth, and bring to a good boil.
Step 4: As vegetables continue to soften and liquid begins to cook, add the chickpeas, then the heavy cream (or milk), the water, and the fresh parsley. Reduce heat and cook covered for about 25 minutes, then uncover and further cook for another 15-20 minutes. Taste test the sauce, adding more salt or pepper to fit your preference. The sauce should be slightly thickened and the potatoes fully cooked.
Step 5: Turn off curry, and serve immediately on a bed of warm rice, garnishing with finely chopped parsley on top. Enjoy in front of the TV…