Thursday, April 09, 2020

So Good Chickpeas

 My loves! I am writing from here, on whatever day this is, to recommend a few things. 

Such as: A cat in a box!
  • The Marshmallow Test is a fun, easy trick-taking card game with these awesome squishy little marshmallow tokens. It's like Hearts, but low-key, without the whole Queen of Spades / wanting to die or murder somebody angle.
  • Honeyland is an incredible documentary unlike anything we had ever seen before. Fabulous, but intense. 
  • Wanderlust (the Jennifer Aniston / Paul Rudd one) is also a fabulous movie and not intense at all. It is also kind of gloriously nudity-filled and contains our all-time favorite movie line. ("Cut to: Car in the pond." Spoken by Jordan Peele no less.) Mostly when I watch movies and shows now I wonder why everyone is standing so close together and feel kind of stressed.
  • I'd recommend a book, but I seem to have developed this unsettling kind of attention deficit disorder right now where half my brain is reading and half my brain is catastrophizing. Like parallel play, but solo, mental, and not fun. I assume that will clear right up any minute.

My friend Judy and I text every day about the NYT spelling bee.
What else?

But mostly I'm here to share this. So good and easy and cheap and quarantiney. Be well, stay safe, enjoy everything you can, if you can, because even this is our real, actual life. xo

We've been delivering "Sunday dinner" to Ben's friends who are stuck here at college for the duration. I add tearful little notes to tell them how precious they are, etc., and they must think I am really careening off the rails over here. And maybe I am!
Maddie’s So Good Chickpeas
I went on a socially distant happy-hour walk with my friend Maddie (this involved a river and 6 feet and IPA-filled water bottles) and she told me about her chickpea curry, and even though I already make chickpea curry a million different ways, it sounded so good. I made her send me the details. And this is more or less her recipe, though maybe she doesn’t add the ginger? You could totally skip it. (I should add that I have made “The Stew”—the famous one from the NYT—and find it earthy and earnest but also slightly underwhelming, though I know that’s kind of heretical to say! And I LOVE Alison Roman usually, so.)

2 tablespoons coconut oil (or vegetable oil or ghee)
1 chopped onion (Maddie only uses ½ an onion “because frugality”)
2 or 3 cloves chopped garlic
A tablespoon or so of chopped ginger
½ a small can of tomato paste (freeze the rest in tablespoon-sized blobs)
2 tablespoons of curry powder or chana masala (I like it both ways)
1 can coconut milk (I’m just looking at Maddie’s text now, and she only used ½ cup. She and I seem to part company here.)
3-4 cups drained canned (2 cans) or cooked chickpeas (I cooked 2 cups of dried in salted water for 9 minutes in my very beloved pressure cooker)
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or half as much table salt)

1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat and fry the onion until it is fully translucent and even browning a bit around the edges—10 or 15 minutes. You can tend to the onion sporadically while you prep the other ingredients.
2. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a minute or two until it’s all very fragrant, then stir in the tomato paste and curry powder and fry another minute or two until everything is kind of blended into the onion mixture and sizzling. Stir in the coconut milk and then the chickpeas and bring to a simmer. Add the salt and then taste it for salt right now. It will cook down a bit (and get saltier), but if it starts out woefully underseasoned before the simmering, it will be harder to season it later.
3. Simmer on low for around half an hour to really get the chickpeas soft and to blend all the flavors together. If the pot is ever drying out, add some chickpea cooking water or some plain water. When everything is perfectly delicious (add more salt now, if you need to), serve the chickpeas with rice, quinoa, dosas, or just in a bowl with a blob of plain yogurt. The dosas shown here were made from the recipe at the bottom of this page. I recommend buying the book, though. Dosa Kitchen. So good.