Yum! Curry and Naan

5 Jul

Stuck in a cooking rut that hasn’t deviated much from microwaved oatmeal, PB&J, and eggs, I was inspired to make chickpea-potato curry and naan (the Indian equivalent to pita bread or a tortilla).  Usually I stay away from making bread that has to rise because I tend to be impatient and almost always start kneading or rolling the dough prematurely, but this time I allowed the naan dough to rise while I ran around enjoying the sunshine.  The results of the curry and naan were empty bowls and lots of “mmmms” from my formerly reluctant family.  Serve the curry over a bed of rice (brown, white, jasmine– whatever you prefer) and dip/spoon the naan into the curry for a hearty and delicious meal that also serves as a wonderful next-day lunch.

Chickpea and Potato Curry

The notorious- or beloved- spice of Indian food can be adapted by adding various amount of cumin or curry.  For eyes-and-nose-wateirng heat, add a dash of red pepper flakes.  Coconut milk can also be used to substitute the milk.

  • 4 medium/large potatoes, cubed and boiled
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 c. 2% milk
  • 1 can (12 oz) chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

Warm oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic, and cook until the onions are soft and translucent. Stir in curry powder, garam masala, ginger, cumin, and salt. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes, stirring. Pour in soup, cream, and chickpeas. Stir in potatoes. Simmer 5 minutes. (Adapted and impromptu-ed from an online recipe)

Naan

A wonderful fried bread that acts as part spoon/part mop, naan is a wonderful accompaniment to Indian stews and curries. Be sure to brush the butter onto both sides of the bread while frying to get a nice, even golden coloring on both sides.

  • 2 c. flour, plus additional flour for rolling out dough
  • 3/4 tbs baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c. warm 2% milk
  • 1/2 c. plain nonfat yogurt
  • 2-3 tbs of butter, melted
Whisk all ingredients up to and including milk in a medium sized bowl.  Microwave the milk for about 30-40 seconds, or until warm.  Whisk the yogurt into the warmed milk, then pour the milk mixture into the dry mixture and mix together.  Cover with a towel and let rise for 2 hours (or more, if you’re in the middle of doing something else).  After dough has risen, prepare work surface by sprinkling with flour, making sure to flour your hands as well.  Place the dough on floured surface and divide into 4-5 sections that are about 2″ in diameter.  For a hand-stretched look, use palm of hands to knead out the naan to about 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick (or use a rolling pin).  Brush one side of each naan with butter.  Heat a medium sized pan to almost high, and place the naan butter-side down into pan.  Cover with a lid for about 30 seconds, then flip (similar to a pancake) until golden brown and bubbles have crisped.
If you’re lucky, you can then go eat this feast under a bodhi tree in India to reach gastronomic enlightenment.  Otherwise, bon appétit!

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