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Friday, November 18, 2011

Random Food Fridays - Potato & Chickpea Curry with Easy Cheater Garam Masala

I am a curry novice. I love curry a whole bunch. With Madelyn's tutelage, I learned that curry could be easy. I mean, it can be so darn complex tasting that I viewed it as some kind of special alchemy. Little did I know that a very passable Thai Curry could be thrown together with prepared curry paste and a can of coconut milk! Bada Boom! Bada Bing! 

You may recall my one New Year's resolution for 2011 - Make beans from dry and no more cans! So far, I've been 100% canned bean free. I've been doing a lot of searches for recipes to use beans up and add some variety to my lunches. In one search for chickpeas, I came across this post at As I read it and spied Campbell's Tomato soup on the ingredient list, I was intrigued. I recalled that the last time I ate tikka paneer and garlic nan with Miss Paula at Pooja Indian Grill, it was remarkably like eating grilled cheese with tomato soup, only deconstructed and spicy! I thought, why not give this crazy idea a try!

I had a hard time finding garam masala, so I made some from the spices I had on hand. I understand that whole, toasted and freshly ground spices are far superior. But I really wanted to make this from pantry items to see if I liked it before going all out. This simple recipe has given me a good result and the confidence to move forward with my curry curiosity. The only changes I made to the recipe were to slice the onion instead of dicing and I added about 1 1/2 cups frozen peas. Surprisingly, this was not very hot, so I added some generous shakes of Tapatio hot sauce. I imagine it would have been more authentic with more cayenne, but hey, how authentic can you be with a can of tomato soup!

Easy Cheater Garam Masala
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
dash cayenne pepper

Mix and store in an air tight container.

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