Sticky Notes of Thoughts

…because some thoughts are worth remembering

On Cooking for a Friend (Curried Spinach-Chickpeas Recipe)


One of the reasons I enjoy cooking for friends is because I know their taste and I can optimize the menu for them. We wanted to thank our long time friend for hosting us in San Francisco with a home-cooked meal. He had perfected a dhal dish (recipe painstakingly ethnographically recorded by my husband) from his Indian roommates during his graduate school years, we call gruel, because he decided there was no other dish he would rather have for dinner than this dhal dish that if he was going to eat at home, that he wasn’t going to cook any other dish. It became his staple.

Recently, he told me he experimented with his tried and true recipe by adding some spinach, but he felt it took away from the taste. So when I was thinking of what to make for him, I thought a spinach-chickpea curry would be a winner (paired with homemade naan). The recipe is forgiving, meaning exact measurements are not crucial as long as you taste the end product and adjust to your taste. This recipe is easy to make and with ingredients available in your pantry (I usually keep extra ginger root in the freezer).

Curried Spinach & Chickpeas

  1. Dice 1 large onion, mince (or use garlic press) 4 cloves of garlic, and grate or mash with mortar and pestle 1 inch of ginger root. Sauté in 2 Tbsp of olive oil, with salt and pepper to taste until softened (about 5 min.).
  2. Add 1.5 Tbsp of curry powder, 1 tsp ground cumin and 1/2 tsp ground coriander to the mixture and continue to sauté.
  3. Add 1 can (~15 oz) of diced tomatoes, and cook it down slightly (about 5 min.)
  4. Drain and wash 1 can of chickpeas (or if you like, you can add another can), and add to the heating mixture. (If you are using fresh chickpeas, soak them overnight and pre-cook them in a separate pot to the tenderness you prefer, because they wouldn’t soften much more in the mixture).
  5. Add a 10 oz bag of frozen spinach and heat through.
  6. Adjust for seasoning (lemon juice, salt, more cumin for more flavor and depth, and cayenne pepper or chili flakes for more heat).
  7. Serve over rice or pair it with naan.

Photo: One of my host’s favorite, Dandelion Chocolate offers on-site hand-made chocolates in small batches, with its cafe offering European style drinking chocolate and various chocolate desserts in the Mission district of San Francisco


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This entry was posted on August 28, 2015 by in Recipes and tagged , , , , .
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