This past week, a friend came to visit me. Of course, I never can resist treating my visitors to some creations from my kitchen, especially when this guest was interested in some basic cooking instructions in addition to a meal. What a learning experience that turned out to be. I was rather surprised at how much I take for granted in the kitchen — experienced cook that I am, I rarely give much thought to the process of soaking beans, cooking temperatures, chopping methods, cooking times and other essentials.
In addition to serving some old favorites, like mung beans with paneer cheese, some new dishes appeared on the menu. My friend really likes beans and Indian flavors, so I turned to my new copy of 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer for some inspiration. The biggest challenge with this book is deciding on a recipe, packed as it is with straightforward and simple ideas. I finally decided upon a chickpea shundal. Shundals are moist curries that are usually made with whole legumes — often black chickpeas — and traditionally served during India's Festival of Lights and presented as an offering to Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of learning and knowledge. An appropriate choice, as this past week was all about sharing.
I served this dish with lime flavored rice with split peas, a recipe from the same cookbook.
|Chickpeas with Coconut Sauce (Shundal)|
|Recipe by Lisa Turner|
From 660 Curries
Published on October 14, 2008
Spicy chickpea coconut curry served during the Indian Festival of Lights holiday