When it comes to entertaining, I prefer to have my invitations sent out well in advance. While that buys me enough time to plan a menu (which usually includes this Chickpeas Curry) and work out the finer details of the evening, it also gives me plenty of time to prepare for the guests attending. And by that, I don't certainly mean that I spend a good chunk of the coming days rehearsing a jig for them. No, nothing like that! I prefer my guests to entertain themselves without having me burst into a dance. What I do mean, however, is that it gives me ample time to clean up the house.
Since I'm someone who could easily let the pile of dirty laundry grow till we literally (literally, like Hubby Dear waking me up a few mornings ago at the shock of not having any clean shirts left to wear to work. Thank goodness for a semi-casual work environment where a golf t-shirt is seen as no reason to question!) run out of clean clothes, or let the vacuum cleaner sit snugly in the corner gathering dust, or let the endless magazines I subscribe to grow into an unbelievable pile, much like the leaning tower of Piza, er I mean, paper.
Yea, so I guess you're kinda getting where I'm hinting at. I hate to admit it, but as much as I would prefer otherwise, I hate to have last-minute guests. Even worse are those who think it's so much fun to drop me a surprise visit. I always wonder if they're the ones surprised by how much clutter one can accumulate with just a weeks subscription of magazines and newspapers. But don't get horrified. It's not as bad as you're imagining it. I DO NOT live amidst bits of paper scattered throughout the house (I swear Mom, I clean - there are really not that many papers lying around!), neither do I have to wade my way through the different rooms by tripping over things.
For the most part, my floors are carpeted and clear. The main problem lies in, or rather on, my table-tops. With all my writing assignments, I find myself constantly rummaging through books and magazines for both, research and inspiration. My coffee table, and part of my dining table are filled with my current favourites and articles that I want to keep close at hand. Then comes the endless cookbooks I love to collect, which get shoved from one room to another as I read them, due to lack of book shelf space. (Yes, I've actually added a book shelf to my birthday list for Hubby Dear. What? Don't tell me you don't have a list!)
And finally, my notebooks. I can't even begin to count to the number of notebooks, pads and pieces of paper I've scribbled on since I started this blog. It's rare, if ever, I finish one notebook before I start a new one. The reason for me having so many of them is that partway through, I always seem to misplace one, start a new one, misplace that, start another one, only to find the first one in some remote corner of my study! So yeah, it's not that I dislike having people over, it's just that I prefer to have the time to clean up a bit so as not to drive them away!
This recipe for my Chickpeas Curry is one that I often serve at my dinner parties. It uses a pantry staple, is simple enough to put together in a matter of minutes and absolutely, lip-smackingly delicious. Try it, and you might just find a new favourite to serve for dinner!
Chana Masala (Chickpeas Curry)
- 2 tablespoon light cooking oil
- 1 medium-sized onion finely chopped
- 1 green chilli finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- salt to taste
- 1 large tomato finely chopped
- 1 can chickpeas rinsed and drained
- water as needed
- finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
- lemon wedges for garnish
- Heat oil in a deep pan and add onions and green chillies. Fry for a few minutes till the onions get tender and lightly browned.
- Add in the ginger-garlic paste, tomato paste, spices and salt, and fry for a few seconds to mix everything well.
- Add in the chopped tomatoes and cook till tomatoes pulp and start to give out oil from the sides.
- Stir in about a cup of water, allow it to come to a boil, and then add chickpeas. Let it simmer covered for a few minutes till chickpeas are soft and tender to the touch. Add in more water if necessary, depending on the consistency of the curry you prefer.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro and lemon wedges.
If you like this recipe, then you will surely enjoy my Rajma.
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