chickpea and kale curry
the other day when my buddy Caprice and i were busy chatting via gchat about various summertime salads, she passed along this recipe she’d made several times for a type of chick pea and spinach curry that could be done in the slow cooker. to me, this is fantastic, as it adds to my growing list of dishes i don't have to make in a traditional oven. Here in Atlanta we’ve reached that window of mugginess where I refuse to run the oven if I can help it – it will heat up the house indecently, make the A/C run overtime, and generally make me irritable as hell. The only time I’ve not been totally irritated while cooking in the middle of summer in front of an overheating oven was one time when the boy and I were working a catering job in Annapolis, MD a few years back. We had set up a makeshift kitchen in the client’s garage, but the client insisted we lower the garage doors when the guests arrived so that the guests would be spared seeing the hired help at work. The windows had been nailed shut, so there was no fresh air flow coming in. So as we’re plating stacked heirloom tomato and crispy pancetta salads, I looked down at the instant read thermometer in my jacket pocket to see that it was a mere 125 degrees F in that tiny garage (the boy later joked about how we were medium-rare). that sounds totally miserable – and it was, for a moment. But we knew it was temporary, and we knew we had to kick ass and make the food look effortless and elegant, so work our asses off we did. To this day the boy and I still laugh about that afternoon.
Caprice insisted that I use dried chick peas, as the difference between canned and dried is major. I promised I would, planned on making this dish over the weekend. then yesterday I forgot to buy dried chick peas (in my defense, I was thwarted by a hangover). I was kind of irritated with myself this morning when I realized this lack of judgment on my part, so I figured I’d use canned and cook it in a Dutch oven (no need to break out the slow cooker if I’m only cooking this dish for an hour). This is my version of the recipe, swapping kale for the spinach because spinach tends to shrink to about nothing, and I like a bit of texture in my cooked greens. I will make a mental note of trying this again with dried chickpeas.
This will make several lunches for me (3 or 4, depending on how hungry I am), with a nice squirt of sriracha to spice it up – totally untraditional to the origins of this dish, but I pretty much add sriracha or Texas Pete to a lot of things I eat. One day my stomach lining will thank me I’m sure.
chick pea and kale curry
2 15-oz cans of chick peas
1 cup chicken stock (or water, if you want to make this totally vegan)
8 cups kale, ripped into large pieces
2 15-oz cans diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1. Drain chickpeas, then toss into a Dutch oven with 1 cup water or chicken stock, kale, tomatoes, coriander, cumin, garam masala, turmeric, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and pepper.
2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook for one hour. Sprinkle in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, stir in cilantro and serve.