The Lab Cookbook has some lovely, homely comfort foods in it! This one comes from Libby - she shares with us an enthusiasm for Ottolenghi and McKinnon recipes, and reached further back in time to give us a favourite Kurma Dasa recipe. We're Kurma fans too, but we have a different book to Libby and so this one's new to us.
It's a simple mixture of chickpeas and cauliflower with warm (but not hot) spices and a decent serving of ghee. It motivated me to take those extra steps in a couple of spots: soaking dried chickpeas overnight instead of just grabbing some cans, pulling the seeds out of cardamom pods, and grinding up a whole cinnamon stick. Contrary to the Kurma Dasa way, I skipped over the asafetida powder and served my curry with a garlic chappati on the side.
I accidentally forgot to add the turmeric, so any future renditions of this meal will probably look a lot more golden. This is the rare warming dinner that I reckon I'd like just as well served at room temperature - I'll be keeping it in mind for future potlucks.
Chickpea & cauliflower curry
(a recipe shared by Libby, who credits it to Cooking with Kurma)
3/4 cup dried chickpeas
3-4 tablespoons ghee
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups (~250g) cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 large green chilli, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons jaggery or brown sugar
1 x 7.5cm cinnamon stick
seeds from 8 cardamom pods
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon asafetida powder
3 teaspoons minced ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons water
Soak the chickpeas in 4 cups of water at room temperature for 8 hours, or overnight.
Drain the chickpeas and transfer them to a large saucepan with 6 cups of fresh water. Bring it all to the boil, then reduce it to a simmer and cover, cooking until the chickpeas are completely soft. Drain the chickpeas and reserve their cooking liquid.
Grind all of the spice paste ingredients together until they form a smooth paste.
Set a very large saucepan over medium-high heat and melt the ghee in it. Sprinkle in the turmeric and salt. Drop in the cauliflower pieces and fry them until they're just tender, 5-10 minutes. Scoop the cauliflower pieces out and set them aside, keeping the saucepan on the heat.
Drop the cumin seeds, chilli and bay leaves into the remaining ghee in the saucepan. After a minute or two, pour in the spice paste, frying for a further 1-2 minutes. Add the chickpeas, cauliflower, a few tablespoons of the chickpeas' cooking liquid, and the jaggery/sugar. Continue cooking, covered, for 5-10 minutes. Serve hot.