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Author Notes: This recipe was inspired by the New York times, an Instagram posted by a local take away restaurant, and by my vegan daughter. Often, we find ourselves struggling with cooking for her and the rest of the family which are meat eaters. This curry has a great sweet n spicy flavour and is easily made vegan or non vegan by adding the spicy chicken meatballs. —Bernice Hill
Serves 4 people
Chickpeas in Star Anise and Date Masala
- 2 - 15 ounces cans chickpeas (or 1 1/2 cup raw chickpeas, soaked overnight and boiled)
- 4 cardamom pods; seeded and ground
- 1/3 cup cooking oil
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (1 medium-large)
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic (6 medium cloves)
- 5 tablespoons tomato paste
- 8 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
- 1 1/4 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons salt (or 1 tsp if chickpeas are salted)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/3 teaspoon ground star anise, or 2 whole star anise
- 1/2 cup water
- Drain chickpeas, rinse, and set aside.
- Heat oil in a medium pot on medium-high for 45 seconds. Add onion and saute for 6 to 7 minutes, or until browned.
- Stir in garlic and saute for 1 minute, or until browned.
- Reduce the heat to medium and stir in tomato paste (sauce). If using sauce, reduce at this point until it gets a bit pasty.
- Add dates, cumin, salt, cayenne, black pepper, star anise and cardamom sees and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Stir in chickpeas and water and heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until masala is well mixed with chickpeas and the chickpeas are warmed.
- Turn off the heat and serve immediately. Enjoy with rice and extra cilantro.
Spicy Chicken Meatballs
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 2 tablespoons spicy sweet chili sauce
- 1 sliced green onion
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- salt and pepper
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
- Form into small 1 inch balls and fry until just cooked.
- Add to chickpea masala with a bit of water, cover, and simmer for ten minutes.
- Enjoy with rice and extra cilantro.