It's a Saturday night and I'm munching on the last of some naan bread. Originally, I was going to make some black bean soup for dinner, but since I torpedoed a rare weekend off (I worked Saturday and then had a family obligation on Sunday), I figured that I'd suck up to my husband by making some Indian food. After all, the family that burns out their taste buds together inevitably sticks together. So I made Smitten Kitchen's recipe for chana masala.
So first off - I really need to share more of my reaction with you guys than just my standard "oh man" or "holy awesomeness Batman," but to be honest - my first reaction was a bit of meh and then my nose started running, which unclogged the rest of my senses and I was wowed by this dish. My reaction became "oh man, my husband is going to ADORE me."
You may find Smitten's recipe here. A couple of notes:
1) I have no knife skills. They have improved over time, but if I was a contestant on any cooking show, some judge would throw my butt out of the kitchen because I suck with a knife. So I use the handy dandy miniature food processor that I inherited from my beloved late grandma Boots. She used it as a "nut chopper" (don't ask) and it's brilliant for small-scale cutting like onions and garlic.
2) I have finally conquered my fear of ginger, so much so that the next time I see soap that is scented with ginger, I am buying it. Long after I had grated what I needed, I sniffed the remaining ginger like a junkie seeking some sort of a fix. "It smells like ginger ale!" my mind crowed and shifted to images from my childhood. Not that I drank a lot of ginger ale as a child, but it's a wholesome thing to drink and, um ... Ginger. Fear conquered!
3) Do not rub your eyes after you have cut and seeded hot peppers. You will cry. Many tears.
4) The cumin seed needs to be toasted and crushed. I had not performed that task prior to dumping the spices into my skillet and was left standing with a plastic container full of cumin seeds. So I omitted.
5) Target makes good naan. Sure, it's probably more Minnesotan than authentic, but it sure is tasty. Don't waste your time on the whole wheat stuff. It tastes like arse.