13 May 2011

Simple Split Chickpea Curry

For my birthday this year my sister added to my cooking obsession by buying me a cast-iron wok and a cookbook. The cookbook is The Indian Slow Cooker and it is pretty fantastic. It is mostly vegetarian with only seven out of the fifty recipes containing meat. I looked at a few of those recipes and they are easily veganizable. Well, everything in here is easy to make without the dairy. I have a slight criticism of this cookbook and it is some of the recipes are really similar. For example, are two recipes called "Split Green Lentil and Rice Porridge" and "Whole Green Lentil and Brown Rice Porridge" really necessary? Overall, I am pleased with the book, though, because I love Indian food.

This is adapted for my 1.5 qt slow cooker.

1 cup dried chana dal, cleaned and rinsed
1/2 tomato
fresh ginger
hot chili pepper
1 t cumin seeds
1/4 t turmeric
1 t chili powder
3 cup water

Put the chana dal, tomato, chili, garlic, water, and half of the rest of the spices in a slow cooker. Cook on low for about 8 hours. Add the rest of the spices and stir to combine. Using an immersion blender, pulse the soup until there is still some texture left.

I have decided that cooking Indian spices for a long period of time does not make them intensify, it only makes them mellow and disappear. My husband had the great idea of only adding half the spices at the beginning and then the rest right before serving. Such a great idea. I did have to add just a bit of sriracha because my grocery store only had mild chilies and not any hot ones.

This was the first dish I used with our immersion blender. Oh my goodness, how did I get by before without one? It worked so well (maybe a bit too well, there is not much texture left, but that is really because I was playing around with it) and so quickly. I was amazed. No more hot liquids in the blender for me!

I am going to increase the spice level for sure next time.

Why yes, I did eat this with a toasted whole wheat hot dog bun.

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