Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chickpeas with Mango Powder

This recipe calls for mango powder which you can find at a purveyor of Indian spices in your area. I go to Vik’s Chaat Corner in Berkeley, located on Channing Way at Fourth Street. But don’t hesitate to use lime juice instead. Vary the amount of heat in the dish by starting with a small amount of cayenne, tasting the sauce (and waiting for the heat to build), and adding more to your taste. This dish benefits from sitting for a while after being made. The flavor sneaks into the chickpeas with every passing minute. Just reheat gently before serving.

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 black, green or white cardamom pods
1-2 cinnamon sticks, 3 inches long
1 cup canned crushed or diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons mango powder or fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, ground, or 2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
½ teaspoons cayenne pepper [I used about 1/8 teaspoon]
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
3 cups cooked chickpeas, canned or cooked from dried beans
1 cup water or chicken stock
4 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
¼ cup finely chopped red onion

1. Heat the oil in a medium sauté pan over medium high heat. Sprinkle in the cumin seeds, cardamom pods, and cinnamon sticks and cook until they sizzle and smell aromatic, 10 to 15 seconds.
2. Add the tomatoes, mango powder or lime juice, coriander, ground cumin, salt, cayenne, and turmeric. Lower the heat to medium and simmer the sauce, partially covered, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Stir in the chickpeas, 1 cup water or stock, and 2 tablespoons cilantro. Cover the pan and simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally until the chickpeas absorb the flavors, and the sauce thickens, 20 to 25 minutes.
4. Remove the cinnamon sticks. Sprinkle with the onion and the remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro and serve.

Makes 4 cups
Adapted from Raghavan Iyer’s 660 Curries

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