Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A craving......

The past month has left my palate with decided new shadings. In part of it is definitely keeping the memory and momentum of a month long journey alive, but the other is purely artistic. I subsisted on a basically vegetarian diet while I was away, and I am still craving lentils, chickpeas, and other well-seasoned vegetables. Along the beach and at roadside stalls I kept seeing a chickpea salad that was served warm in newspaper cones.

Well, I thought some of these vendors were a bit sketchy did manage to order the dish at a few restaurants I found myself at. It was highly flavored with a garma marsala mix with the sweetness of carrots. So, for now, hummus has been put to the back of the list of chickpea go-to’s.

Chickpea Marsala – yields 6 servings

3 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium red onion – sliced thinly
2 garlic cloves – crushed to a paste
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 teaspoons garam marsala ( see below)
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 small carrot – peeled and grated
4 scallions – washed and diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Heat an 8-inch sauté pan over a medium heat, and add the oil and onion. Cook the onion until it is limp, and a light golden brown. Mix in the ginger, garlic and garam marsala, and cook for a few minutes moving the onion mixture constantly. Mix in the chickpeas, carrots and scallions, and cook to warm through. Remove from the heat and add the salt, pepper, limejuice and cilantro. Serve warm or cold.

Garam Marsala

2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon whole clove
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1 tablespoon whole black pepper
8 whole cardamom

In a spice grinder place all the ingredients, and process to a fine powder. Store in an airtight container.

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