Indian Chickpea Garam Masala

Chickpea Curry with Spinach and Carrots

Ingredients for Chickpea Curry with Spinach and Carrots

Last year for Christmas my dad gave me Rosalind Creasy’s Recipes from the Garden cookbook.  Turns out he received it from making a charity donation (the gift that keeps on giving), but it quickly climbed the ranks of favorite cookbooks I own. 

Ironically, I got my dad a cookbook that year too.  However, they couldn’t be more different. Not because I didn’t scavenge it from a charity auction, but Miss Kay’s Duck Commander Kitchen doesn’t exactly scream “garden recipes!”

In the spirit of the holidays (where all you’re required to do is eat) and a competition to see who was a better gift giver, or chef for that matter, we had a father-daughter cook-off.  My only request was he didn’t choose the Boiled Squirrel and Dumplings recipe from his new present.  That sounded like fancily prepared road-kill to me.

Father Daughter Cook Off

He went with the chili featured on the front cover and 30 minutes later he had his feet up watching the Kansas City Chiefs.  Smart man. 

I, on the other hand, picked from my new book: golden chicken curry with garam masala.  This turned out to be the most painstakingly long process I had ever endured in the kitchen.  If it was not so extraordinarily delicious (if I do say so myself) then my dad would have won, hands down, for the simple fact that he was done two hours before me.  Who knew it was that important to “perfume the air” with so many toasted spices according to the directions? And then grind them yourself? And by so many I’m talking over 10.

I don’t know if it was the 3 hours I slaved away in the kitchen that intimidated me, but that was the last (and closest thing) I made to Indian food for 2014.  And that all went down on January 2. 

So yesterday when I boiled up 2 cups of dry chickpeas for no particular reason (except maybe using some for my favorite healthy snack of Roasted Chickpeas) I thought I would try my hand at Indian food again.

Before you run off saying “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” let me preface this by saying it was not about to spend 3 more hours in the kitchen.  And for heaven sakes, I know not all Indian food takes that long to prepare!

I gathered my spices. Words of wisdom: get curry powder if you don’t want to measure out all of the ingredients below.  Plus I used canned tomatoes, canned chilies and I recommend canned chickpeas as well to make this the easiest meal yet.  

Chickpea Curry

Less than 15 minutes later my house was filled with the aroma of the reheated leftovers from my Indian colleagues’ lunch. I sound like I’m making fun, I mean that in the best way possible… it smelled authentically delicious. I prescribe it to clear your sinuses too. Have a try and let me know what you think!  

Chickpea Curry with Spinach and Carrots

Chickpea Garam Masala
It's been a year since I tried my hand at Indian food, but I'm so glad I did. This is my version of Indian Garam Masala in the most simplified way possible. It's quite healthy and exceptionally delicious.
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  1. 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  2. 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, keep water
  3. 1 4 oz can diced chilis, keep water
  4. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  5. 1 small onion, diced
  6. 2-3 large carrots, cut in bite size pieces
  7. 1 clove garlic, minced
  8. ½ teaspoon or more of each (or 1 ½ tablespoon curry spice): ginger, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper, salt, cloves
  9. 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. 1-2 cups spinach
  2. 1-2 cups white or brown rice
  1. Heat the oil in a large and deep skillet. Add the spices, garlic, onions and carrots and cook until the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add the chickpeas and canned tomatoes and chilis.
  3. Simmer on medium-low until most of the water has evaporated and the carrots are tender (about 30 minutes)
  4. Add spinach (if desired) and cook an additional 3-5 minutes until wilted and coated with the flavor.
  5. Serve as is or over bed of rice.
Adapted from Recipes from the Garden
Adapted from Recipes from the Garden
Zest of Zen

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