Okay, we're back to blogging Indian food, but we're taking a northerly detour from curry leaves and coconut to bring you one of our favorite North Indian treats, totally bastardized so it could almost be considered Latin food. We're big fans of anything smoky-tasting, and this dish jazzes up the chana masala you're used to with several smoky accents: chipotle chile, smoked Spanish paprika and fire-roasted tomatoes.
Have some rice or a good Indian bread on hand to soak up the delicious sauce!
1 tablespoon oil or ghee (if you're a carnivore, you could try bacon grease for extra smokiness)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
5 large shallots, sliced (about 2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon smoked spanish paprika (aka Pimentón)
3 cloves garlic, ground
1 1/2 inches ginger, ground
4 cups chickpeas, cooked (canned okay)
1 dried chipotle chile, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes (or you could use the kind that are canned in adobo, or just chipotle chile powder)
3 1/2 cups roasted, pureed tomatoes (fresh or canned)*
3 tablespoons tomato paste
*If you're using fresh tomatoes: Chop the tomatoes into large chunks, toss with a little oil and roast in the broiler until burnt spots appear. Stir well and roast until more burnt spots appear, then puree. If you're using canned tomatoes: Try to find Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes to get a nice smoky flavor. Puree.
Melt the ghee in a wok over medium-high heat. Once the ghee is hot, add cumin seeds. Allow the seeds to pop for 30 seconds, then add the shallots. Fry, stirring continuously, until browned. Add the tumeric, coriander and pimenton and stir. Once the onions are well coated with spice, stir in the garlic and ginger and fry until lightly browned. Add the chickpeas, chipotle, tomatoes and tomato paste and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the tomatoes have reduced somewhat. Taste for salt and cayenne before serving.