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Well, I’ve been putting this one off for the better part of three weeks now.  Actually promising to blog a recipe is pretty much a recipe (pardon the pun) for procrastination. 

the three mo's

Michael, Cheffer & Mike during "Movember"

In late “Movember” we participated in Twenty Valley’s  “Wrapped up in the Valley” passport event where we paired our Medium Dry Riesling VQA ($20) with a Spicy Chick Pea Curry.  Thankfully, both the wine and the curry were very well received.  Unfortunately, enough folks wanted the recipe that I couldn’t possibly avoid providing it.   Hence my current dilemma. 

1. I have no recipe this stew

2. I am neither Indian, nor nearly Indian.   Not even a little. 

3. This dish is no authentic curry.  Not even a little.

4. This dish is so simple that I fear you will lose all respect for me after finding out just how little effort and skill is required to make it.

5. I’m lazy.  That really doesn’t add to my dilemma, I just felt I should share.

So without further adieu, here goes – “Simple White Guy Chick Pea Curry” by Cheffer…

Here’s what you need: 1 large Spanish onion – chopped, 1/4 cup butter, 3 Tbsp curry powder, 2 cans (796g) chick peas – drained and rinsed, 1 can (796g) diced tomatoes (tomatoes – not tomatoes with herbs, not Italian style tomatoes, just tomato tomatoes), 2 cups stock (chicken or vegetable), 1 cup plain yoghurt (high fat – try Astro Balkan style, red and white label), fresh cilantro, salt and pepper, hot sauce.

Here’s what to do:  In a large pot (how large?  Large enough to fit 1 Spanish onion, 1/4 cup butter, 3 tbsp curry, 2 cans….you see where I’m going with this right?), sorry, back on point – in a large pot, sweat the onion in the butter over medium high heat until the onions are translucent, just beginning to colour.  Add the curry powder and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the chick peas, tomatoes, and stock and cook for 20 to 30 minutes at a very gentle boil.  Add the yoghurt and cook for 5 to 10 minutes more.  Add as much chopped cilantro and chili sauce as you feel you’ll enjoy, season with salt and pepper and serve – preferably with naan or pita bread and beer (oops, I mean wine).  Also feel free to garnish with a “dollop” of fresh yoghurt.

That is the “nutshell” version, but here are some tips and alternatives:

You can puree the onion in a cuisinart and cook slower, lower, and longer – until the onion begins to take on a dark brown colour.  This will give you a richer, deeper flavour, whereas the method above will maintain a fresher and milder flavour.

If you love curry – add more curry.  If you don’t love curry, add less.  If you make your own blends, go nuts.  You can add cumin, coriander, garam masala, cardamom, ginger, cayenne, and a handful of other spices to the mix.  Whatever you like, the technique remains the same.

If you’d like a thicker curry, puree a small amount of the finished product and add it back to the batch. 

Don’t use “no-fat” or “low fat” yoghurt.  It makes a difference.  Also worth noting that “vanilla” and “plain” yoghurt are very different things.

You can spell yoghurt either “yoghurt” or “yogurt”.  I like yoghurt.

Use whatever chili sauce you like, I prefer Sriracha sauce or Sambal Oleck.

I think that just about wraps it up.   Happy currying.  Chow.