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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fighting the Good Fight

It's been a bit rough around here lately. Between some unforeseen/foreseen stresses and general malaise, we seem to be in a constant state of partially having a cold.  Last week, I fought these things with chocolate cake and Indian food.  The Indian food seemed to knock out the cold impulses, at least for a day or two.  And the cake?  Pretty damn good, Joy the Baker!  (It was pretty similar to this recipe, minus the cream cheese and orange, and adding in some cocoa powder.)  But I digress.

Cold-Busting Indian Chili

(adapted from Indian Home Cooking by Suvir Saran and Stephanie Lyness)

1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can of diced tomatoes
1/2 can tomato paste (about 3-4 Tbsp.)
1 onion (optional- I was out, but I'm sure it would have been good with it)

3 Tbsp. olive or canola oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. whole cloves
1/4 tsp. peppercorns
1/2 tsp. chili pepper flakes
1" piece of cinnamon stick
3 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. garam masala
1 1/2 c. water

Don't be put off by the long spice list; you probably have most of those things already, except for maybe the garam masala and the cardamom pods.  

In a large pan, heat the oil.  Add the first set of spices, and let it cook until the seeds start to pop. (You may want to use a cooking screen to protect yourself from flying oil!- I got one from the dollar store a million years ago.)
Add your onion (if using) and garlic to the hot spices.  Cook until the onion is translucent, or until the garlic stops smelling raw.  Then add your canned tomatoes and drained beans.  Evenly disburse the second set of spices and mix them in.  Pour in the water, and cook for 15 minutes.  Just before serving, add the tomato paste to thicken the sauce.  Serve over rice, with plain yogurt to temper the spice.

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