This recipe will delight both vegetarians and curry lovers alike. If you fall in the center of that venn diagram, you are probably about to do a happy dance. For those of you seeking a way to mask your vegetables, creamy Chana Gobi delivers. The sauce is fragrant and creamy, made richer and thicker by the addition of yogurt and irresistible by the inclusion of mouthwatering spices. As spicy curries go, this one is certainly on the milder side. If you would like to bump up the heat level, add a diced chili of your choice in with the onions.
I specifically chose a cauliflower in our farm basket because my husband and I have agreed to cut down on our meat consumption, which left me scrambling to find dinners that are filling and substantive. I love Aloo Gobi and wanted to do something similar, but to add protein I decided to sub the potatoes for chickpeas. Soft, creamy chickpeas are wonderful in combination with sweet, crunchy cauliflower. The creamy tomato gravy, just a touch tart and very flavorful, provides a delicious backdrop.
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets and parboiled 3 minutes in salted water
1 (15 oz) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 large heirloom tomato, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup crushed tomato
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup half n half (or 1/4 c milk & 1/4 c cream)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, julienned
1 ½ inch piece of ginger, peeled & grated
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 Tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
1 bay leaf
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Chopped cilantro, for garnish
In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add in olive oil, onions and a pinch of salt. Sweat onions until they begin to brown (5 minutes).
Add spices, garlic, bay leaf and ginger. Cook for 90 seconds, stirring constantly. Add in chopped tomatoes, and when their moisture has cooked out (about 3 minutes), add crushed tomatoes, then mix in yogurt and half n half.
Add in chickpeas and cauliflower. Stir to coat. Cover and bring up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes to thicken sauce.
Serve garnished with chopped cilantro and accompanied by steamed long grain rice.