And now a chickpea curry with an Indian flair. I found this recipe in the Food and Drink magazine that the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) produces and it is so delicious and so easy to put together, truly a one-pot wonder. This recipe doubles up on the protein by combining chickpeas and paneer, an Indian cheese that is purchased in a compressed block. I used to find paneer only at Indian supermarkets but the chain stores are starting to carry it as well. Firm tofu can easily substitute for the cheese, so the choice is yours.
The LCBO Food and Drink magazine is released seasonally plus some extra holiday issues. I collect them obsessively; beautiful photos of the finished recipes are wonderful to peruse while sipping on a coffee. What is even nicer, is about six months after release, most of the recipes become available on their new dedicated food/drink website at foodanddrink.ca — this curry was in the Winter 2014 magazine and is now online at Chickpea & Paneer Basmati Bowl.
The spices for this curry are warm and aromatic: curry powder, garam masala, cumin, cinnamon and cloves…a pinch of cayenne pepper, which is optional.The ingredients are almost all from my pantry or refrigerator : chickpeas, low-sodium vegetable broth, passata (which I almost always used instead of crushed canned tomatoes), brown basmati rice, one package paneer, a yellow pepper, onion, ginger and garlic.Have some fresh mint and coriander leaves ready for chopping and stirring into the curry at the last minute….So let us begin. Fry the onions, garlic and ginger in oil for a few minutes. Stir in the dry spices. This will be fragrant in a minute. Stir in the vegetable broth, tomatoes and paneer. Then add the chickpeas, pepper and basmati rice and cook gently until the rice is tender. If you use white basmati rice, this will take about 20 minutes. Because I used brown basmati rice, I simmered it for an hour. Stir in chopped mint and coriander right before serving. A great dish for leftovers for lunch the next day too. It also freezes very well.
Chickpea and Paneer Basmati Bowl
2 tbsp. oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
2 tbsp. mild curry powder
2 tsp. garam masala
1½ tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. each ground cloves and cinnamon
Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 jar passata
1 package paneer, cubed (or a package firm tofu, if preferred)
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 large yellow pepper, chopped
½ cup basmati rice, brown or white
2 tbsp. each chopped fresh mint and coriander
- Heat the oil in a large shallow saucepan and cook onion, garlic and ginger, stirring for 3 minutes. Stir in curry powder, garam masala, cumin, cloves, cinnamon and cayenne; cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.
- Stir in broth, tomatoes and paneer; add chickpeas, pepper and basmati rice and cook, stirring often, for about 15 minutes if using white rice and about 50 minutes if using brown rice, until tender.
- Stir in chopped mint and coriander to serve.
Makes 6-8 servings.