nancys-photos-060OK, first I must say, Happy Holidays to everyone!  I have been busy through the holidays and had no time to post.  Since Christmas dinner, it is my first time cooking anything of substance.  My familiy’s holiday dinner was lovely, filled with great family and friends, and of course great food and drink.   Since then, I  have been living on Ezekial bread with smashed avocado spread, cucumbers, and tomatoes made into a sandwich for lunch and dinner and my usual granola with coconut milk in the morning.

I put my cookin’ pants back on and broke out the enameled dutch oven that my parents gave to me.  I have been lusting over the really old orange Le Creuset one that resides at our house in Fire Island that my mom has had since getting married 38 yrs. ago.  I got a beautiful grey one made by the lovely (and maybe a little greedy?!) folks at the Food Network.  My mom got it at Kohls.  I seasoned it by washing and drying it and then rubbed it with a bit of olive oil and then wiped it out.  Then came the comtemplation of what to make in it.  My sister gave  me the book Veganomicon (which has many post its of recipes to try), I also borrowed her copy of Jack Bishop’s book A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen and could not resist the recipe on pgs. 68-69 for a chickpea curry.  I adapted it.  I happened to have half a bag of dried chickpeas leftover from Christmas, so this seemed the perfect time to use them up!  I also just love curries.  They are one pot wonders that burst with flavor.  They also can be changed up (feel free to add a red pepper, carrot, and/or a small eggplant the mix of sauteeing veggies.  They can be served on their own, on top of any whole grain, served with a whole wheat pita/naan,  and somtimes I stir spinach into it.  Curries are much easier to make than most people think.  I did employ my mortar and pestle for this recipe but the spices could be ground up in a coffee grinder as well.

And I must apologize for the horrible photo, I just couldn’t get a good one no matter what.  I also have to comment that I am noticing that I must love orange/red food.  Anyway, here is the recipe, enjoy, it’s equally wonderful on winter or spring nights (or cold out the fridge anytime).

1 tblsp. coconut oil
1 whole cinnamon stick
6 whole black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds (crushed finely with mortar and pestle or coffee/spice grinder)
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped fine
1 large onion, chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
1 tblsp. ginger, chopped fine (I love using the Trader Joe’s pureed ginger that comes in a bottle)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. tumeric
1 small can (14.5 oz.) tomatoes
1 1/2 c. coconut milk
2 c. dried chickpeas (I soaked them in H2O overnight and then rinsed them, put them in a saucepan with fresh H20, brought that to a boil, lowered heat to low, covered, and simmered for 60 min.)
salt to taste

Heat oil in a large dutch over med/high heat.  Drop coriander seeds, peppercorns, and cinnamon and cook till it smells nice.  Add the onion and jalapeno pepper and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and ginger, followed by the cumin and tumeric and cook for a few minutes.  Add the tomatoes and cook some of the liquid out and add the coconut milk and continue to cook for a few minutes more.  Stir in the chickpeas and bring to a boil, then drop the heat back to low, cover, and simmer to let flavors meld for about 20 minutes.  Serve by the bowlful.