My in-laws were at home this past weekend. I’ve been cooking with my mother-in-law every time we see each other. I feel like it’s a great way to pass down the recipes down to our children. Indian recipes are rarely written, but rather passed on from generation to generation, and the teaching is done in the kitchen, by doing, very rarely by following a recipe. However, in this day and age, recipes are useful, since women spend less and less time cooking with their mothers. The best way I found was to create a nice collection of my mother-in-law’s vegetarian recipes. This one is a North Indian classic. Whole (pronounced cho-lay), also called chana, is a splendid dish where chickpeas are simmered in a spicy tomato sauce. You won’t regret trying this nutritious meal!
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 1/3 cup grapeseed oil
- 1 lb (16 oz) dried chickpeas, soaked overnight, drained, and rinsed
- 5 whole cloves
- 1/2 cinnamon stick, broken in half
- 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- Large pinch of curry leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 4 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 3 cups water
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- Fresh cilantro
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the cloves, cinnamon, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and curry leaves. Cook while stirring for 2 minutes.
Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the turmeric and cook, covered, until the onion is fried and golden, about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the tomatoes and ginger-garlic paste and mix well. Put the cover back and cook for 5-6 minutes.
Add the chickpeas, salt, ground red pepper, and stir well. Add water, cover, and cook until the chickpeas are tender, between 40-60 minutes. Add the garam masala and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the fresh cilantro. Serve over rice or any other grain, and top with more fresh cilantro, or scoop up with some naan. Bon appétit!