I recently purchased a copy of Leanne Brown's Good + Cheap, and I'm a huge fan of the cookbook. The idea is to feature recipes that can be made on a serious budget -- about $4/day, depending on which combinations you choose. Plus, when you purchase a copy, you can add on a donated copy to go to an organization serving low-income individuals for just $5 -- very cool!
This chickpea curry is fantastic -- the chickpeas make it filling, and the sauce is rich and delicious. The combination of spices is warm and savory, and you can adjust the heat level up or down depending on how you like it. It's a great dish to make ahead on the weekend, since the chickpeas take a while to get tender. The leftovers keep very well, so you can let it simmer on the stove on a Sunday afternoon and then heat it up for a fast lunch or dinner later in the week. We ate these chickpeas with homemade naan (another recipe that is 95% make-ahead), but it would also be tasty with rice.
Chana Masala (adapted from Good + Cheap)
2-1/4 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and cooked until tender
1-1/2 T ground coriander
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne (more or less depending on your spice tolerance)
2 T butter
1 onion, diced
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced or grated
2 cups canned, pureed tomatoes
1 cup water (more or less as needed)
Accompaniments, see below
1. Soak and cook your chickpeas. This takes a while, so I recommend getting it done over the weekend or the night before so you're all ready to go. Of course, you can always sub in canned chickpeas (you want about 5 cups).
2. Measure out all the spices and place in a small bowl.
3. Melt the butter in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and ginger and saute until the onion is tender and starting to brown. Add the spices, and cook, stirring constantly, until they coat the onions and are very fragrant. Then add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer about 10 minutes. Keep a close eye to make sure the skillet doesn't get too dry.
4. Add the water (you can add more or less depending on how saucy you want the finished dish to be. Add the cooked chickpeas and stir to combine everything. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
5. This dish is great as leftovers, and is excellent with naan or rice, a bit of yogurt on top, and a sprinkle of cilantro of parsley.