Aubergine and Chickpea Curry #SundaySupper

I love spices. I have over 30 different kinds of spices and seasonings in my kitchen. One of my favourite things to do when I am traveling is to find local spices to take home and try. So a theme all about spices was right up my alley. Now some people hear the work spicy and they instantly think of spicy hot, but spicy foods can mean so much more then just hot. It is also about flavour.

Now I have wanted to add to my retour or Indian recipes for a while but to be honest it is one of those cuisines that does sometimes intimidate me, especially veggies ones. I have had some bad experiences with recipes turning out not so great so I have hesitated delving as deep as I would like into that culinary world. But I had some aubergines that were calling for me to do something unique with them so I decided today was the day.

I will admit that I questioned whether or not this would work, I don’t know why. I love aubergines, I love chickpeas there was no reason this wouldn’t taste good and yet I still doubted.

So what was the result?

This curry dish has now gone down as my all time favourite none meat curry dish that I have ever cooked at home. It is INCREDIBLE, so full of flavour you won’t know what hit you.

Aubergine and Chickpea Curry

800g (28oz) aubergine (about 4-5 small-medium sized aubergine) cut into small cubes
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp minced ginger
2 red chillies, seeds removed and roughly chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
400g cooked chickpeas
400mL (15.5 oz) coconut milk
3-4 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp garam masala

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Slow Cooker Chana Masala #SundaySupper

I’m back!

After a week holiday in Italy for my brother’s wedding and then a crazy week at work with studying for my citizenship test, which I am so happy to say I PASSED! I have been MIA but I am back and so excited about this Sunday Supper theme. Today we are all sharing slow cooker meals. And I don’t know about you but I could always use inspiration on slow cooker meals. Especially when life gets as busy as it has for me.

For my recipe I decided to attempt something I have wanted to do for a while now, Chana Masala.

This is one of my favourite curries and yet I have never had success with it at home. But this recipe from Simple and Sustainable Cooking seemed a lot easier then others I have seen so I decided to finally give it a try. I have to say when I noticed she used dried chickpeas and yet didn’t soak them first I foolishly questioned whether or not it would work. Not only did this recipe amaze me with how well they cooked but it has made me want to start to cook my dried beans in the slow cooker instead of the stove from now on.

We seriously have such an amazing collection recipes to share with you today so don’t forget to check out the rest of the Sunday Supper menu.

Slow Cooker Chana Masala

140g (3/4 c.) dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
600mL (2 1/2 c.) water
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 onion, diced
2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander powder
3 tomatoes
1 inch piece peeled fresh ginger
1-2 green chilies
1 tsp garam masala
1 lemon or lime
2 scallions, chopped
handful of coriander (cilantro)

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Tarka Dhal

*Edited
Sorry for the long silence. Between getting sick and starting a second job I just haven’t had the time to sit down and blog as much as I would like. I am hoping this week to start carving out more time to dedicate to the blogging world so I can get back into things. This post accidentally went out on Thursday minus any images and after I discovered it went out I quickly took it down. So now I am over due it to you so here we go.

A few weeks ago someone asked if anyone had some good Indian Curry recipes, I thought to myself ‘Oh of course I do, I make curry a few times a month’. But then I looked through my posts and I realized I didn’t have as many as I thought I did. Shame on me.

Curry is the national dish of in England and it is a cuisine that we love and enjoy every month. So I am rectifying the lack of good Indian curry dishes with this fantastic lentil curry, Tarka Dhal. I never knew how much I could love lentils until I tried my first lentil curry, which admittedly wasn’t Indian but Malaysian. When I was 14 we went to Malaysia and I was first introduced to lentil curry. I had only eaten one type of curry dish up until that point but I discovered curry is so much more then just one dish. I have to admit I had no idea how vast the curry world was. The possibilities are endless, there are sweet curries, spicy curries, creamy curries, tomato based curries, vegetable curries, meat curries, I really could go on. If I posted a curry recipe every day I probably wouldn’t run out of unique recipes to share after several months. I could almost guarantee that if you don’t like curry there is probably a curry out there for you. Different cultures have their own versions and their own mixture of spices. I was recently introduced to North African curries and now have a new culinary cuisine that I can’t live without.

One of the wonderful things about a Dhal curry (lentil curry) is they are very cheap to make. I keep all of these ingredients on hand so recipes like this make their way into my kitchen frequently when my budget is at its tightest. This recipe was a new one for my to try and I have to admit I was slightly confused by some of the original instructions and I had to make a few changes to match what I had on hand. I am a bit confused by the original recipe’s instructions for what you do with the chillies. The result is a bit strange of a process and I am not sure what it adds but I will say this tasted wonderful so I guess in the end that is all that matters. Right?

Tarka Dhal

250g (1 1/2 c.) red lentils, rinsed until the water runs clear
1 litre (4 1/4 c.) water
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
1 small onion, chopped
3-4 whole green chillies, pricked with a knife (my chillies were large so I just added 2)
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin strips
3 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
3 tomatoes
3/4 tsp ground turmeric
3/4 tsp garam masala
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
Adapted from BBC Food

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Caramelised Carrot and Coriander Risotto

I have a risotto obsession and I am not afraid to admit it. I could eat this creamy rice dish every day of the week and thankfully my family loves it as well so they don’t mind all the experimenting with flavours I do. I just can’t seem to run out of flavour combinations for this tasty dish. And just when I think I found my favourite version I find a new one. So when I saw Becca, from Amuse Your Bouche‘s recipe for a Caramelised Carrot and Coriander Risotto I just had to try it. This slightly sweet and cheesy risotto is perfect as a meat-free dinner option for the whole family. Go check out Becca’s blog and her amazing vegetarian dishes. I hit a cooking block last week as I was struggling to come up with more meat-free ideas for our month challenge and I have been so inspired by her amazing dishes.

Caramelised Carrot and Coriander Risotto

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced (although I like mine sliced in risottos)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, finely grated
1 1/2 tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
200g (1 c.) arborio rice
1 litre (4 c.) vegetable stock
50g (3/4 c.) cheddar cheese, grated
3 Tbsp fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
100g (3 oz) fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
Recipe from Amuse Your Bouche

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Homemade Falafel #SundaySupper

Happy first Sunday Supper of the Year! I am so excited about this week’s topic because we have all decided to attempt a bucket list recipe. I am sure you have at least one of those dishes that you keep telling yourself you will make but never get to it, or like mine you have attempted it but failed miserably. I think it is so important to always challenge yourself in the kitchen because it is the only way you can grow as a cook. If you never step out side of your comfort zone then you run the risk of getting stuck in a cooking rut. Actually this can be true for any area of your life. So if you do only one thing this year, “resolution wise”, I challenge you to choose to do at least one thing that is outside of your comfort zone.

Now onto the falafel. First of all I want to say that while I was browsing around trying to find a new recipe, the last one I tried we didn’t like, I noticed a lot of bloggers describing these as a vegetarian meatball or vegetarian patty. While they are correct in that this is vegetarian friendly I would say this is not the best way of describing these tasty morsels. I know many meat eaters that the second you even utter the words, vegetarian, they refuse to even try it. Countries where this is served do not serve this as a vegetarian option, it just is a regular dish that they eat that happens to not contain meat. So don’t sell these short. Whether it is served as an appetizer or, our favourite, with some salad in pita with hummus, this is a wonderful recipe full of nutrients and flavour.

Also included in this recipe I wanted to share a little tip I use to not only make my life easier but to eat healthier. I am sure by now everyone is well aware that tinned fruits, vegetables and beans are not that good for you, nor are they a cheaper option. For example one 500g (17oz) bag of dried chickpeas cooked produces just over 1000g of cooked chickpeas which comes out to about 4 tins, drained. At the store it costs me .79 for 1 tin of chickpeas while a bag of dried chickpeas costs only 1.09 that is 2/3 more expensive. It might not seem a lot in the long run but trust me when I say it is because of small changes like this that I have reduced our food budget. Plus you know your family is eating a healthier product not eating out of tins which often have chemicals and other not so good things in them.

Falafel

475g (2 c.) cooked chickpeas
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 Tbsp of fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
2 Tbsp flour
Salt
Pepper
Oil for frying
Recipe from Mideastfood.about.com

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