I wish it would snow. This thought slips into my mind often these days, almost every morning, especially when I’m opening my blinds, hoping to see the first snowflakes falling, all fluffy, huge and tender at the same time – just like the first snowflakes should be – making streets beautiful and festive, turning naked trees and bushes into divine ice sculptures, brightening entire town. Since I was a child, the snow meant joy to me – a simple equation. Maybe because I was born on one day in December, or maybe because I had (and have) a snow dog that becomes crazy active with the first cold days, who knows…
I really treasure my grandfather saying that December comes on a white horse, which he would tell over a cup of hot tea, usually after shoveling the first snow. Indeed, December was the month of snow (and snowmen, snowballing and, if lucky, ice-skating), but for the last couple of years we weren’t so lucky. No snow or even a frost, to make tips of the trees sparkle. So we have to use our imagination and make a little bit more effort than usual, to make gloomy December days cheerful…
Speaking of imagination and cheerfulness, I have a friend Iva, who among other creative things, like comic book drawing and music making, also makes great vegetarian dishes. While chatting, we mentioned something about chickpeas, and the next day she sent me an e-mail with this splendid vegan curry recipe. She made this curry version by combining several vegan curry recipes into one tasty dish. I took a look at the recipe and decided to make it a few days later, and I loved it so much that I had to share it here with you, with just a few minor changes to the original Iva’s curry recipe.
Vegan Chickpea Curry Recipe:
Vegan chickpea curry is really tasty, versatile and visually striking dish. You can make it even if you don’t have all the ingredients. Play with this curry recipe; you can’t go wrong; well, actually you can go wrong, but only if you burn your onion ;)
- 300 grams / 10.5 ounces dried chickpeas
- 1 big (two small) onion
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ teaspoon caraway
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 dcl / 6 ½ fluid ounces tomato sauce
- 3 tablespoons curry
- 2 tablespoons sweet paprika powder
- ¼ ground ginger
- ¼ grated nutmeg
- pinch or two cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- handful of parsley leaves
- 1 cup rice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- large bowl
- one large and one smaller cooking pot
- cutting board
- wooden spoons
- Put the chickpeas into larger bowl and cover them with plenty of water, as they will almost double in size. Let them soak for at least 20 hours – this way they will cook evenly and faster than when soaked just overnight.
- Next day, drain and rinse the chickpeas well, put them in a pot with plenty of fresh water, put the lid on a pot and cook on a low heat for about 2 – 2 and a half hours.
- Take one smaller pot and cook rice in salted water.
- Heat the skillet, add olive oil and sauté onions until translucent. Add chopped garlic and sauté for few additional minutes, add paprika and stirring constantly cook it for one minute or so (until it turns deep red), add tomato sauce, bay leaves, and all the other spices except the cayenne pepper (we will add it at the end to taste). Cook for a few minutes, turn off the heat and take out the bay leaves. Add in about one cup of the chickpea water with a few chickpeas as well. Put it all in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Stir this mixture into a pot with chickpeas (if your chickpeas still contain lot of water, pour it out before stirring the spice mixture in, leaving about ½ cup of water in the pot). Taste it, and add additional salt or curry to taste. Cook chickpeas curry for about 10 minutes or until sauce forms nice and creamy texture. Remove from heat, add few pinches of cayenne pepper and chopped fresh parsley.
- Serve hot with cooked rice and some nice green salad, or dill pickles.
In her mail Iva wrote that this curry dish goes nicely with cooked potatoes and Greek yogurt, or with simple white bread, why not. I haven’t tried these side dish options yet, but I believe it’s pretty tasty that way, too.