Many of my new classmates are from outside the U.S. I love hearing about their backgrounds, their hometowns, their experiences, their culture. And yes, their food.
One of my study team members is from India. One Sunday — yes, we meet on Sundays to prepare for Monday classes — she brought us a Chhole Masala, a delicious dish of mild spices and chickpeas, with rice on the side. (Mild because she knew several of us were wimpy Americans. Very thoughtful. "Is this OK? It's not too spicy" she asked. When we all reassured her, no, no, it was great, she smiled beautifully and replied: "Good. Now I know I can increase the spice!")
I asked her for the recipe. She graciously replied with not only the recipe, but with two plastic baggies of Indian spices! Tumeric and a spice mixture, which she said could only be obtained from an Indian grocery.
I made my own go at it today:
- Saute a small onion and a small tomato, minced, in a bit of oil.
- Grate ginger over the mixture.
- Add a pinch to tumeric
- Cook it slowly until the onions soften
- Add a spoonful of Indian spice mix
- Add a diced pepper (I used a red bell pepper)
- Drain and then add a can of chickpeas (I didn't rinse them, but you can)
- Add water until it covers the chickpeas ( learned this the hard way, as I just put a bit in, and the beans didn't simmer well or soften)
- Let it simmer for a good 20 minutes, until the beans are softened to your liking
- Serve over rice
For the spicy fans: add paprika and chopped green chilies.