Sometimes, I like to try a recipe that is out of the ordinary. Whether it involves ingredients that I’ve never used before, or has a complicated prep process, I enjoy the challenge of making something completely different.
This past weekend, I decided to try Chickpea Dumplings in Curry Tomato Sauce. I love Indian food, and this had all the makings of a delicious dish: tomatoes, cilantro, exotic spices…and chickpea flour. I never realized that chickpea flour is used to make falafel and other crispy, fried Mediterranean delicacies. I’ve only ever cooked with standard types of flour (whole wheat, all-purpose), so I was anxious to see how the dumplings would turn out.
The best part about this dish is that it comes together all in one skillet. Once you add all the ingredients for the curry tomato sauce, you let it simmer while you form your chickpea dumplings. The nice thing about chickpea flour is that it is a little more elastic than regular flour, so it will be easy to form the dough into balls.
Then, you just drop the dumplings into the skillet (carefully…you don’t want a tomato explosion), cover and simmer. Also, make sure the tomato sauce cooks down far enough before you add the dumplings–to the point where it’s thick and stew-like. Otherwise, it will take longer for the dumplings to firm up in the sauce.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder when it comes to this dish. It’s not a delicate, 5-layer cake or colorful salad. But it is delicious, and perfect for a chilly Fall evenings.
Chickpea Dumplings in Curry Tomato Sauce (slightly adapted from here)
adapted from Saveur Issue 156
- 1 cup chickpea flour (also called Garbanzo bean flour)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro (plus more for garnish)
- 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon peanut oil
- 1/3 cup Greek yogurt (I used 2%)
- 2 serrano chilis, seeds removed and minced
- 1 onion, minced
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger (or 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled & grated)
Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium. Add coriander, mustard, and cumin seeds; cook for about a minute or until they begin to pop. Add curry powder, one serrano pepper, and 1/2 the onion. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add tomatoes (with juice from the can), turmeric, ginger, and a cup of water. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for ten minutes or until it has thickened up.
While simmering, combine the rest of the serrano pepper, onions, chickpea flour, cilantro, oil, yogurt, and salt in a bowl. Stir until a thick dough has formed.
Drop a heaping tablespoon of dough into the stew; repeat with the rest of the dough. Cover mixture and let steam / simmer for another 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat.