Saturday, September 02, 2006

Chard/Spinach and Chickpea Curry

I got a cookbook for Christmas on breads from around the world. I've enjoyed flipping through it on several occasions but I had yet to make any of the recipes. There's a recipe in there for naan that I've been wanting to try and tonight I finally got around to it. And if you have naan then that calls for a curry right? So I made something pretty similar to Darlene's favorite curry recipe but with chickpeas as the protein. I used a small bunch of chard that we got at the market today and supplemented that with frozen spinach (and I diced the chard stems and threw them in at the beginning with the onions). We had the curry over brown rice that I cooked with a cinnamon stick, a few cardamom pods and a pinch of saffron.

As for the naan, it wasn't much like the kind you get in an Indian restaurant but it was still pretty decent - and vegan (most naan is made with yogurt). This particular recipe called for milk, yogurt and an egg but it wasn't too hard to veganize, with soy milk, extra soy yogurt and extra oil. I'll give you the recipe but I don't think I'll call it naan. Also, it calls for fresh cake yeast which is a different animal than your standard active dry yeast (though you can try it with standard yeast and see what happens). I have some fresh yeast in the freezer since I use it occasionally in some sourdough recipes that I have. Took me a while to track it down but I ended up finding it by asking for it at the bakery counter in our local Whole Foods. So here you go:

Flatbread (adapted from Bread: The breads of the world and how to bake them at home by Christine Ingram and Jennie Shapter)

1 1/2 c. white bread flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 oz. fresh yeast (if you use dry yeast, try 1/4 - 1/2 tsp.)
5 Tbs. warm plain soy milk (heat for 20 secs. in the microwave)
3 Tbs. canola oil
6 Tbs. plain soy yogurt
vegan margarine for brushing

Cream together the soy milk and yeast and set aside for 10 mins. Sift together the flours and the salt then add the yeast mixture, oil and yogurt and mix to form a dough. Knead for about 10 mins. then put dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise for about an hour. Heat the oven to 475°. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, punch down and cut into 3 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball then roll each piece out into a flat oblong shape. I cooked mine directly on a baking stone but you could use a baking sheet. My stone held 2 pieces at a time so I left the third piece of dough in a ball until the first 2 were baked. However you're baking them, put them in the oven and bake for about 5 minutes, then turn on the broiler for a minute or 2 to get them brown on top - they should puff up some. Brush the top with margarine when they come out of the oven.


Mellie said...

Thats interesting, I've never thought of putting a cinnamon stick in with my rice.
It all looks great!

springsandwells said...

Oh man!
I am experiencing some real food envy right now! That whole meal looks and sounds fabulous. I hope that it tasted as great as it looks.
yum yum yum... I love Indian food so much, it's just amazing.

Chris said...

Thanks Mellie! It gives the rice a little extra something.

Hi Amey! I have a hard time getting an authentic Indian taste at home but this comes pretty close.