Indian Chickpeas and Chard

Last Thursday was a CSA Box Thursday and as always, I sent my mom (and cooking mentor) a photo of its contents. In return, she sent me a recipe that she dubbed “Wonderful Dark Leafy Green Recipe,” I renamed “Indian Chickpeas and Curry,” and I later discovered was originally called “Curried Chickpeas, Onions, and Kale in a Tomato Sauce” by The Ginger Cook, who posted it earlier this year on her blog after she bought a whole bunch of kale and promptly forgot the recipe for which she needed it.

Indian Chickpeas and Chard

The recipe was quite simple but incredibly flavorful—which, for me, is the make-or-break criterion. My theory: Flavor equals filling. If it’s not flavorful, I really don’t want to eat it because I won’t ever be satisfied. It’s so easy to keep eating more and more of a bland food in hopes of being fulfilled and ending up consuming far more than you meant to yet still being hungry for a satisfying bite. This is why I don’t eat milk chocolate and one of the reasons why people often end up eating more calories when they consume low-fat foods rather than just eating smaller portions of the full-fat (and flavor?) originals.

This recipe, however, was a slam dunk. I like spicy food so the two tablespoons of hot masala curry powder, half a teaspoon of mustard seed, and two tablespoons of Sriracha sauce might have been the magical combination for me but even if you wanted to reduce the amounts, this dish is deeply flavorful and calls out the tastes and textures of the onions, chickpeas, and chard (which I substituted for the original recipe’s kale).

To make it, I prepped my ingredients in a mise en place, then, as instructed, cooked the onions and mustard seed, adding the curry powder, cinnamon, and coriander shortly after. Next, I added the chard.

Ingredients for the Indian chickpeas and chard (though missing quite a bit of the chard as it was drying in the salad spinner)

Adding the chard to the curried onions

Cooking down the chard

Greens cook down quite a bit and I could have used my whole bag of chard but left a little for later (which I eventually cooked down on their own and added to my leftovers). I was rather sleepy—this was the same night that I made the lemon poppy seed cookies and mixed the wet ingredients right in with the dry ingredients rather than adding them together at the end—and missed the instruction to crush the chickpeas when I added them. I did a bit of smushing at the end but ended up quite liking the chunky bites that the whole chickpeas provided.

To finish the dish, I stirred in the tomato paste and remaining curry powder (which was easier than the recipe described it’d be) then added the Sriracha.

Ready for eating. The whole house smelled like an Indian restaurant by the time I was finished.

With rice (though I should have made basmati instead of wild rice)

The first bite was heavenly—in the spicy, packs-a-punch, perhaps-I-need-a-glass-of-water kind of way. I had mine with rice, though it’d be great with naan. And, the next day, once the flavors melded together, it was even better. I’m considering making it again for my Indian naan pizzas and topping it with paneer. Yum.

Leftovers for lunch

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