Friday, March 18, 2011

Chickpea and Potato Curry

This is what we had for dinner tonight.  Details below the fold.

Ingredients by cost:
Roasted Tomatoes 1.00 can $1.19
Bread 1.00 Round $0.95
Chickpeas 1.00 can $0.79
Chicken Stock 2.00 cups $0.73
Potatoes 4.00 whole $0.51
Butter 2.00 Tbsp $0.19
Onion 0.50 whole $0.06
Fresh Ginger 2.00 tsp $0.03
Coriander 1.00 tsp $0.01
Cumin 1.00 tsp $0.01
Paprika 1.00 tsp $0.01
Salt 2.00 tsp $0.01
Turmeric 1.00 tsp $0.01
Total $4.50
Serves 4.00 $1.13

The most expensive items were the processed things - a can of Ralphs brand roasted tomatoes with jalaenos, a wheel of flatbread, a can of garbanzos, and some chicken stock. The entire dinner would serve four (we have leftovers) and cost approximately $1.13 per person.

The potatoes were medium sized red potatoes and weighed just under a pound all together. The spices I put at one cent per addition as the amounts I was using were worth perhaps a tenth of that. The penny values them too much, but I don't want fractional cents.

The luxury in this dish was the butter. Half was for the curry and half for the bread. Just that little bit made everything creamy.

Preparation was simple. Chunk the potatoes, chop the ginger and onion very fine, drain and rinse the chickpeas, put all ingredients except the bread into a large heavy pot, simmer vigorously until the potatoes are tender, then keep at a bare simmer until ready to eat. The bread was drizzled with a tablespoon of melted butter, folded onto itself, wrapped in a little foil, and set into a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

This is a dish to annoy the anti-carb crowd, but was it ever delicious. A squeeze of lemon would have been good on it, too.



Koshem Bos said...

I believe that one of the first textbooks in computer science by Knuth, Volume I, says the cooks are gentlemen. (The book is at the office and today is Saturday.) Let's change it to gentleperson.

Were the tomatoes roasted or, the more Mexican, fire roasted?

Anglachel said...

Hi Koshem,

Fire roasted, with little charred bits on them. The Ralphs brand isn't bad and much less expensive than the big name brands like Muir Glenn.

I've been making a lot of legume dishes lately - Black-eyed peas in a coconut milk curry last Monday, a big pan of lentils, fennel and hot Italian sausage on Thursday, and I plan to cook up a triple batch of some kind of black bean chili this coming Monday. A hot meal for that day and then two bags of beans in the freezer for no-time-to-cook days.

The grocery database really brings home the economy of eating beans and grains for protein. Meat is either a condiment, like a good sausage link, to add flavor, or else a very cheap, tough cut that will get stewed or braised into tenderness.

I got a great deal on a two-for-one roast sale at Ralphs two weeks ago - 7 pounds of pot roast for the price of 3+. I brought it home, cut it up into little one pound roasts just right for making a fresh meal and a left over meal, and now my crock pot turns them into "meat butter" - so tender you just tap it with the fork to make it fall apart.


portia.vz said...

Hmmm, gourmet or Bon apetit circa 1993? I have this recipe and have made it many times. Delian. Serve it with a cool cucumber mint raita. To die for.
Have you tried baigan barta? I used to work with a guy from hyderabad who knew the best places in the princeton area for good vegetarian thali. We'd sneak away at lunch time to indulge our lust for cinnamon and cumin and fresh coriander scented vegetable dishes scooped up with hanks of hot puri. He'd tell me stories about his childhood in India and his mother's favorite dishes served on banana leaves. He seduced me with curried eggplant.

Anglachel said...

Hi Portia,

It is cobbled together from a number of versions I've found online, but may very well go back to one of the magazines. We just had the leftovers for dinner tonight and they were marvelous.

I haven't heard of baigan barta until now, but I adore eggplant and will be sure to try it! Roasted eggplant is divine.