This chickpea curry uses a technique I haven't used before - a puree of tomatoes, onions, garlic, and fresh ginger forms the base of the curry along with lots of fragrant spices and just a little bit of yogurt. The result is a super-flavorful curry that's perfect with naan or rice - it's got complex flavors that taste like they took a long time to develop, despite a start-to-finish time of only 35-45 minutes. It's also not at all spicy, so it's a perfect curry for those who like the flavors but don't enjoy the spice of many curries. (Of course, if you prefer a spicy curry, you can certainly add some chilies - I'd probably add a couple of halved serranos with the onion-tomato paste, let them simmer with the curry, and then pull them out at the end just before serving.) I love the inclusion of artichoke hearts here - I don't think I've ever had them in a curry, and they may not be very traditional, but they're certainly a tasty addition, contributing a slightly tart flavor. Be sure to buy the sort canned in water without lots of additional spices or flavorings (I used Trader Joe's brand).
Chickpea and Artichoke Masala (adapted from Aarti Party)
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
3 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 large red onions, peeled and very coarsely chopped
6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
Oil for the pan
2 tsp cumin seed
2 tsp ground coriander
1-1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 cup plain yogurt, whisked until smooth
1-1/2 T lime juice
2 14- to 15- ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 14- to 15- ounce cans artichoke hearts in water, drained, rinsed, and very coarsely chopped
1/2 cup water
1. Place the garlic and ginger in a food processor and process until as smooth as possible. Add the onions and tomatoes and blend until smooth (you may need to scrape down the sides a few times).
2. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to generously cover the bottom of the pan. Once the oil shimmers, add the cumin seeds. When they have stopped popping, add the onion-tomato paste and saute until it thickens and deepens in color, about 10 minutes. If the sauce isn't as smooth as you'd like it at this point, you can use an immersion blender to puree it further.
3. Add the coriander, garam masala, paprika, and turmeric, and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the yogurt, a little at a time so it doesn't curdle (if you've ever tempered egg yolks, you can use a similar process). Stir in the lime juice, chickpeas, artichokes, and salt to taste, followed by the water. Cover and simmer 10 minutes (or longer). Taste for seasoning and serve with rice or naan.