Friday, 28 June 2013

The Spice Chicks

Peperone Miste & Ceci alla Garam Masala
Garam Masala-Spiced Mixed Peppers & Chick Peas

Chick peas are wonderfully versatile, lending themselves to 1001 variations of cuisines from all over the world, but always down-to-earth, satisfying and delicious. That's why I love them! Whether they are turned into falafel in Israel and the Orient, pasta soups or wonderful "panelle" in Italy and Sicily, or any number of other great dishes, they are an economical and healthy food that people should be enjoying more... that's what I say!

Another thing I love about chick-peas... is that you can buy them in a can!!! Oh, I DO soak them on occasion- but seriously, the canned variety is pretty wonderful and convenient, with a great consistency and already cooked to perfection. So for a quick and rather amazingly delicious meal this evening... all I needed to do was to pop open a can and I was ready for action!

And action it was, because the wonderful flavor of Garam Masala, cumin, chili, lime juice, ginger, garlic, and cilantro transported these simple vegetables into a whole new dimension of yumminess! Not quite a curry, but totally healthy, rich and delicious, this 15 minute dish really delivers!

I started off by sautéing the peppers in a little clarified butter- just a half teaspoon or so was plenty. I sliced up a half of each a yellow, red and green bell pepper for 3-4 minutes, before adding 1 grated clove of garlic and about 1" of grated ginger- I did this in order to get them to cook really quickly and to blend in and form a flavor base for the dish. The next thing I added was 2 coarsely chopped Spring onions, and the chick peas, along with a little of the juice from the can.

Once the chick peas and the liquid had been added, the pan was of course instantly deglazed and already the flavors were beginning to intensify... but now came the spice! 1 tablespoon of garam masala and 1 teaspoon of cumin went in, along with salt, pepper and a hint of cinnamon. I stirred this in well and added the juice of half a lime and about 1 teaspoon of honey... mmm! Now things were beginning to get really tasty and aromatic!

And just 5 minutes after the chick peas were added... the whole thing was ready to be served up and enjoyed! I added fresh yogurt and finely chopped parsley and cilantro as a garnish... and didn't stir it up in order to present you with some pretty photos... but that was the way I ate it! Stirred together, the yogurt and the spicy coating of the vegetables turned into the most wonderful, creamy, spicy dressing- and together with a last sprinkle of chili flakes, a truly delicious dish was born!

You could serve this up with some Indian flat bread or rice of course, but I was happy with it as it was... I think you may be too! I sure hope so in any case! Give it a go, in order to know!

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