Tag Archives: Garam Masala

Chickpeas 2 Ways: Italian & Indian

28 Nov

After rolling myself out of my parents’ house, I got hungry (again).  I was craving veggies in a major way after days of carb-loading (sour cream & cream cheese mashed potatoes anyone), and needed to make something straight out of the pantry since I was without groceries.  I looked in my bare cabinets, and pulled out a can of chickpeas.  Eureka!

I love creating multiple recipes with different flavor profiles from the same base ingredients.  It’s a way for me to make left-overs exciting and new!  Last time I shared my meatball recipes.  Now I bring you Chickpeas 2 ways.

Indian Chickpea Curry (serves 1)

  • 1/2 of a 15.5 oz can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tbs garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • sprinkle of ginger
  • salt & pepper to taste

Heat 1 tbs olive oil over medium heat.  Add 1/2 a can of chickpeas and diced onions, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Saute for 5 mins. 

Add tomato paste and 1/2 cup of chicken broth to pan.  Add garam masala, curry powder and cumin to pan.  Stir, and continue to cook over medium heat until sauce thickens, about 7-10 mins.  Add additional 1/2 cup of chicken stock and sprinkle ground ginger over top.  Add salt and pepper to taste, and stir.  Cook for about 5 more mins and take off the heat.  Your chickpeas should be soft, and will be perfect served over a bowl of brown rice!

Italian Chickpea, Spinach and Tomato Stoup (serves 2)

  • 1/2 of a 15.5 oz can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tbs garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 oz fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup orzo (small grain pasta that looks like rice)
  • 1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 tbs pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Heat 1 tbs olive oil over medium heat.  Add 1/2 can of chickpeas and diced onions , then season with salt and pepper.  Saute for 5-7 mins.  Add tomato paste, 1/2 cup of water, spinach and canned tomatoes to the pot.  Continue to cook over medium heat until chickpeas are tender and spinach has wilted.  About 7 mins.  Add cup of chicken stock and orzo, then bring to a boil. 

Continue to cook at a boil until orzo is cooked, approximately 7 minutes, stir periodically or orzo will stick to the bottom of the pot.  Add salt and pepper and stir. 

I love this stoup (Rachael Ray’s term for a cross between stew and soup), because it’s hearty and healthy after days of indulgence!  Plus I found a way to make 3 meals out of ingredients in my apartment.  You can re-create this meal for a few bucks at the store.  Yay for cheap/free food!

Advertisements

Crock Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

9 Nov

I love Indian food.  Love it!  The combination of thick comforting stews and curries with rich flavors and a little heat.  Sign me up! 

I saw this recipe on one of my favorite blogs and had to try it out.  Let’s just say it was WAY more labor-intensive than most crock pot meals.  Let the record also show this was absolutely incredible, and had the depth of flavor you would expect from a fancy Indian restaurant.   Make this, now.

Crock Pot Chicken Tikka Masala from Eatliverun.com

FOR THE CHICKEN:

  • 9 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1 tbs Ground Coriander
  • 1 tbs Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 cup Yogurt
  • 4 tbs Butter
  • 1 whole Jalapeno Pepper, pierced a few times with a knife

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 4 tbs Butter
  • 1 whole large Onion, peeled and diced
  • 6 cloves Garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tbs Kosher Salt
  • 3 tbs Garam Masala
  • 1 piece Fresh Ginger, about 2-3 inches, peeled and grated
  • 4 cups crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 tbs Sugar
  • 2 tsp Cornstarch
  • 1-½ cup Heavy Cream

Cut the boneless, skinless chicken thighsinto 1 and a half inch pieces. Sprinkle the coriander, cumin and salt over the chicken, then stir in the yogurt until all the pieces are evenly coated. Cover lightly and let sit for 10 mins before proceeding.

Melt 1 tbs of butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Raise the heat to medium high and quickly brown about 1/4 of the chicken. Transfer browned chicken to the crock pot as it is finished, using 1 tbs of butter per batch, and repeat until the chicken is all in the slow-cooker. Throw the pierced jalapeno in on top of the chicken.

Prepare the sauce. Return the pan to the heat and melt the butter over medium high heat.  Add the onions, garlic, and kosher salt, then stir. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to lightly brown around the edges.
 
Stir in the garam masala and ginger and cook until fragrant (about 1 min) before raising the heat to high and adding the crushed tomatoes and sugarStir well, scraping the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan, and bring to a boil.  Pour over the chicken in the crock pot.
 

Cover and cook on Low for 5 hrs, or until the chicken is very tender.

Use a fork or whisk to stir the cornstarch into the heavy cream until smooth. Pour into the crock pot and stir gently until the color is even. Replace the lid and let cook for 10 mins or until bubbly around the edges.

The traditional way to serve this would be over rice and with some naan.  I laugh in the face of tradition and served it of a curried carrot fettuccine I got recently from Pasta Valente.  Either way, I promise this dish will not disappoint!

Roasted Squash, Carrot and Spinach Lasagna

23 Oct

I spent this weekend hanging out with my best friend Rach in North Carolina for Elon University’s Homecoming.  As we feared, the Phoenix lost the game.  Thank goodness we were smart enough to bag the game, walk around campus (read the tailgates), and eat delicious food (read fried food). 

I came home and was craving some veggies for dinner.  I stared at the frozen remains of my Roasted Squash and Carrot Soup looking for inspiration and had a food epiphany!  I quickly headed to the store for my final attempt to use up my soup.

Roasted Squash, Carrot & Spinach Lasagna (serves 6-8)

  • 1 1/2 cups Bechamel Sauce (see below)
  • 1 1/2 cups Roasted Squash and Carrot Soup (see previous post)
  • 15 oz Reduced Fat Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbs Fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • 1 cup Shredded Reduced Fat Mozzarella Cheese
  • 2 cups Frozen Spinach, thawed
  • 6 Lasagna Noodles, ready to bake
  • Sprinkle of Salt, Pepper and Garam Masala to taste

Bechamel Sauce Ingredients (from Mario Batali recipe)

  • 5 tbs Butter
  • 4 tbs All-Purpose Flour
  • 4 cups Milk
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated Nutmeg

The first thing I did was to nuke my frozen soup in the microwave, and you could also heat it up in a pot on your stove top.  Next I mixed the ricotta cheese with the rosemary and egg.  I added salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of garam masala to bring out the flavors of the soup, and put this mixture back into my fridge. 

Afterwards I started on my bechamel sauce, which I thought would help to cut back on the sweetness of the soup. In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a light, golden sandy color, about 6 to 7 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat the milk in a separate pan until just about to boil. Add the hot milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg, and set aside until ready to use.  You will have left over bechamel sauce and can pop it in your freezer.

Now we are ready to start assembling our lasagna!  Preheat your over to 350 degrees.  Pour half of the soup into a 9×9 baking dish.  Lay 2-3 oven ready lasagna noodles on top of the soup and spread ricotta mixture and half your frozen spinach over noodles.  Sprinkle half the shredded mozzarella cheese on top and then cover with half of your bechamel sauce.  Season with salt & pepper, then lay 2-3 more lasagna noodles on top.  Pour your final layer of soup over the noodles and cover with remaining ricotta and spinach mixture.  Add the last layer of noodles and cover with remaining bechamel sauceSprinkle the rest of the shredded mozzarella cheese on top, and season with salt, pepper and garam masala.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  I recommend using a little cooking spay on the foil to avoid loosing any cheese stuck on your foil.  After 30 minutes, remove foil and put back in the over for another 5-10 minutes to lightly brown the cheese.

Anyone hungry?!  I’ve got plenty of lasagna to go around and am starting to turn orange due to all this squash!

Roasted Squash and Carrot Soup

18 Oct

This recipe smells, looks and tastes of Fall!  It started off with my standard roasted squash recipe.  I take an acorn squash and a butternut squash and cut both of them in half.  Then brushed the halves with a combination of brown sugar, rosemary and olive oil, and roast it for 35 minutes at 300 degrees. 

Usually I’m happy just eating the roasted squash on its own, but after two days I needed another way to use up my leftovers. 

So I decided this was the perfect time to try out my new immersion blender (my new one true love) and whip up a fallish soup.  This soup has it all, sweet and savory with a hint of spice.

Roasted Squash and Carrot Soup (serves 6)

  • 1 roasted acorn squash (see recipe above), chopped
  • 1 roasted butternut squash (same), chopped
  • 2 lbs carrots, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 qt of chicken stock
  • 2 tsp garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbs garam masala
  • 2 tbs olive oil

Heat olive oil over medium high heat and add chopped onions and carrots.  Season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium high heat for 20 minutes.  Add squash and garlic to the pot with your onion and carrots, cook for five minutes.  Add chicken stock to pot and reduce heat to medium.  Cook for 30 minutes.  Check to make sure your veggies are tender and can easily be pierced with a fork.  If so, take out your fabulous immersion blender (or let cool a few minutes and pour into regular ole blender), and puree mixture gradually.  Stop periodically to stir the soup in between rounds of blending. Once the soup is completely blended, season again with salt and pepper and then stir in garam masala