I've eaten at virtually every Indian restaurant in Ann Arbor, and have an assortment of spices -- Fenugreek, Cumin, Garam Masala, Saffron, Cardamom -- which help when I have a craving and need to cook something fabulous and fragrant.
And this was precisely the scenario one morning last week, when I could hear the Siren song of Indian food but would have no opportunity to go out at lunchtime and find some. I had no convenience items in the freezer and no leftovers from dinners out. It was up to me to save myself.
And so, I started to saute ... and I opened a couple of cans ... and I stirred and I simmered ... and voila! A quick and easy meal that smelled amazing as it cooked and as it reheated, and which was absolutely delicious with just enough "oomph" from the spices without burning my tongue.
Good thing I'm pretty limber, as I pat myself on the back for this one ... :)
Curried Chickpeas and Tomatoes
2 cups + 1/4 cup water
1 cup jasmine rice
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon cumin seed
1 small red onion, quartered, sliced
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounce can chili-ready diced tomatoes
Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan; add rice, cover, lower heat to "simmer." Cook for 20 minutes without peeking.
Once the saucepan with the rice is covered and simmering away .... In a 10" skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add red pepper flakes, salt, garam masala, curry powder, and cumin seed; saute for 1 minute. Add onion and stir to coat with spices; cook for 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil. Add chickpeas.
Stir to combine, then cook for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes.
Bring to a boil, turn heat to "medium-low," and cover the skillet. Let this mixture cook while the rice cooks.
Place the rice onto a serving platter and top with the chickpea-tomato mixture. Serve with naan or roti, or just "as is."