As promised, this is the continuation of last week's Indian food dinner post -- this time with the recipes for the side dishes, stewed chickpeas and "beer rice." Bon appétit and please do let me know how it goes!
Stewed chickpeas (Chana)
3 tbs oil
2 cans of chickpeas drained (or 3-4 cups dry chickpeas, soaked overnight)
1 onion, chopped
3 tsp ginger, chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp of turmeric
pinch of asafoetida
2 tsp of ground coriander
1 tsp coriander seeds
4 cups water
2 tsp tamarind paste (or to taste)
Red chili powder and salt to taste
Heat oil in pan, add the cumin and coriander seeds and the asafoetida. Wait a few seconds until the cumin seeds "crackle", then add the onion. Sauté until the onion is brown. Add the turmeric and ginger, then all the remaining spices. Add the chickpeas and water. Bring to boil and add tamarind paste (stir it in to dissolve). Cook 30-40 minutes until tender. Add salt to taste. Garnish with cilantro.
Note: Adjust seasonings to your taste -- the seasonings above will result in a mild version. To thicken the sauce (if desired), crush some chickpeas with a woooden spoon against the side of your pot toward the end of the cooking time and continue to cook to thicken.
2 cups Basmati rice
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 - 1 bunch fresh cilantro (coriander) - chopped coarsely
1 bottle beer - most lagers / ales work well
2-3 tbs oil
Heat the oil and add the cumin seeds - wait for them to "crackle". Add the rice and lightly move the grains around to coat them with oil. Wait until they become chalky. Mix the cilantro in with the rice. Add the beer and enough water for there to be 4 cups of liquid in the pot (should be about ~2 1/2 cups of water in addition to the beer). Add salt to taste. Bring the liquid to a boil, lower the heat, cover the pot and let the rice cook for ~15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it sit covered for an additional 5-7 minutes.