I have loads of unopened packets of dried legumes in my cupboard. I normally buy them from the Indian supermarket because they look so interesting and I love daal and chickpea curries. The thing is I never get round to cooking with them because of the whole soaking, rinsing in clean water and then cooking them for hours thing. I’ve got nothing against that type of cooking it’s just I’m not that organised. I decide what I want to eat about an hour before I eat, so I always end up opening a jar of cooked chickpeas or beans. It’s so much easier….
I have to admit though you can definitely tell the difference in a dish where the chickpeas/beans are whole. The texture is different, they are firmer and less floury. So today, before taking the dog for a walk, I put some Yellow Gram in a bowl of water to soak. Yellow gram are like cute little mini chickpeas….
I took Rufus for a walk along a mountain path today. He enjoyed running with the wind in his ears…..
And surveying the landscape…
When we got back I rinsed the gram in a few changes of water and cooked them in clean water in the pressure cooker. I don’t know why I didn’t think of cooking them like this before. The instructions on the packet say to cook them for 1 1/2 – 2 hours in a saucepan. This way they took about 25 minutes, result! The pressure cooker idea came from Ko Rasoi- Mastering the Art of Indo- Vegetarian Cuisine which has loads of gorgeous daal recipes and she cooks them in the pressure cooker. This is also where I got the recipe for the Spinach & Green Chilli Puri, hers are beautiful puffy little breads that I just had to have with my gram curry. I have cooked puris before but never with spinach & green chilli, they sounded amazing……
As you can see from the photos my puris did not puff. This is quite common apparently, could happen to anyone, it’s not just me….. Apart from being a little disappointed with my embarrassing lack of puff the flavour and texture was lovely and a great vehicle for the curry.
Yellow Gram Chickpea Curry Recipe
serves 2, vegan
- 200 gr uncooked yellow gram or 400 gr tin cooked chickpeas, rinsed & drained
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 1 red chilli finely chopped
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 3 or 4 tbsp tomato passasta (tomate frito)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 bay leaves (use curry leaves if you have them)
- 1 onion seeds
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- salt & black pepper
- the juice of half a lemon
- about 500 ml veg stock
- a handful of fresh coriander, chopped plus leaves for garnish
- greek yoghurt (optional)
Prepare and cook the gram according to the instructions on the packet (or in a pressure cooker). Or drain & rinse a tin/jar of cooked chickpeas. In a large frying pan heat some oil over a medium heat. Add in the cumin seeds & onion seeds. When they start to pop add in the onions and soften for about 3 or 4 minutes then add in the garlic, ginger, chilli, chopped tomato, ground coriander, garam masala, bay leaves & turmeric. Cook for another 3 or 4 minutes and add in the tomato passata (frito). Meanwhile heat the veg stock in a small saucepan. Drain the cooked gram/chickpeas, stir them into the curry and pour in the hot veg stock. Season well with salt & pepper and mix thoroughly. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. If your sauce isn’t as thick as you would like take out a ladleful of the curry put in it a bowl or food processor and blitz to a puree. Add this back into the curry to thicken it.
Check for seasoning, squeeze over the lemon juice and stir in the chopped fresh coriander
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves, a teaspoon of greek yoghurt if you like and some extra wedges of lemon on the side. You could serve this with some basmati rice or these delicious puris…..
Spinach & Green Chilli Puris Recipe
makes 6 or 7 small puris, enough for 2 people,vegan
- 150 gr plain or wholemeal flour
- 1 small green chilli, finely chopped
- 3 little cubes of frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed out (or a small handful of fresh)
- 55 ml boiling water
- 1 or 2 tbsp sunflower/olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- pinch of turmeric
- oil for deep-frying
Blitz or mash the spinach, green chilli and boiling water to a smooth puree. Put the flour, turmeric & salt into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Mix in the oil and enough of the spinach mixture to make a firm non sticky dough.
Heat the oil in a wok, large frying pan or deep fat fryer to hot and open a window (it gets smoky & smelly)! Pull off a small piece of dough and roll into a 1 inch ball. Roll it out to a 3 inch diameter circle, turning, clockwise as you roll to get a round ish shape. Don’t flour the board use a bit of oil if it is sticking. Carefully drop the circle into the hot oil and fry until golden and (hopefully) puffy. Keep warm under a clean tea towel while you fry the rest. To see how these puris should look check out Sanjanas beautiful photos. But if, like me, yours turn out to be decidedly unpuffy, don’t worry they still taste amazing and are the perfect scoop for the gram curry…