Okay, so I love Indian food. Love, love, love. I love the complex spices and the creamy sauces and the rice and the naan and the sweet sweet chutney. I've been craving it for a while but usually when I go out and order it, I end up feeling so sluggish afterward. I think it's because most places use ghee, which, if you don't know, is basically a clarified butter. It's used as a base for most Indian dishes and with good reason. It gives the sauce a velvety richness, however it can also wind up feeling kind of heavy. This recipe, which comes from Tyler Florence's second cookbook. has a nice lightness but is still full of flavor.
1/4 cup Ghee or canola oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons curry powder
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
4 ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup water
1 head cauliflower (about 1 pound), cut into florets
3 cups canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Heat the ghee or canola oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, curry powder, and ginger and cook, stirring for a few minutes until onion is soft. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring until the tomatoes break down and soften, about 6 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and the water to dissolve the paste. Gently fold in the chickpeas and the cauliflower. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until cauliflower is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Uncover anbd continue cooking until the sauce has thickened and the cauliflower and chickpeas are coated with a thick gravy. Season with salt and stir in some cilantro.
So the thing about a lot of Indian food is that most recipes call for various curry pastes or spice blends and as such, they can be a little time consuming to put together. This one, however, has a pretty short ingredient list and doesn't take very long to cook. It can easily be made one night after work.
Like most Indian food, this dish smells amazing as it's cooking. Very spicey and aromatic. The tomatoes and onions break down and meld with the ginger and spices forming a fantastic sauce which perfectly coats the chickpeas and cauliflower. Served over some steamed basmati rice it would make a great vegetarian dinner, however, as I eat meat, I served it with Chicken Tikka.