Chickpea Curry with Cucumber Salsa is simple and delicious–and easily made seasonal by including different fruits and veggies in the Cucumber Salsa. Affiliate links have been used in this post to link to items I am discussing.
I can always judge a dish by how I feel about it when editing the photos, especially if time has gone by. This one? I desperately wish I had another bowl of it to eat right now. This curry with this fresh chutney (or salsa) is a prime example of how a warm curry can be refreshing in the summer. John and I were just as happy the kids were gone at camp because it meant we did not need to share!
This Chickpea Curry with Cucumber Salsa was adapted from a chickpea curry in Vij’s at Home: Relax, Honey: The Warmth and Ease of Indian Cooking by Vikram Vij and Meeru Dhalwala. That curry focused on using cucumbers only, but did include the notion that other fruits and veggies would work. Something many of you probably know about me is that when a particular fruit, especially a sweet fruit, is in season I like to add it to savory preparations for an unexpected burst of sweet to contrast with the umami of the dish–and bonus if it can contrast with salty or sour as well. All of July and August–and even early September– I always have peaches on my counter, preferably local. And I think peaches and cucumbers especially work beautifully together, so this combination was a no brainer for me. If you are looking for an idea moving into autumn, why not try green or red grapes? Or roast some butternut squash first and try adding that. The possibilities are endless–and as much as I love cucumbers, I really like a secondary fruit or vegetable here with a pop of sweet.
Closely adapted from Meeru Dhalwala and Vikram Vij. If you are balking at the amount of oil, consider that this dish is otherwise fat free.
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil (I use avocado)
- 1 large onion, sliced
- salt to taste
- 2 T minced ginger
- 1 T minced garlic
- 2 T minced jalapeños
- 2 t amchur powder
- 1 T paprika
- 1 t turmeric
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1-2 cups water, to desired consistency
- 3 15-oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 T dried fenugreek leaves
Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot, such as a Dutch oven, over medium high heat. When it is hot, add the onions with a pinch of salt.
Cook the onions, stirring occasionally. Splash a little (like 1-2 tablespoons) water into the pot if the onions start to scorch or stick. Cook for 10 minutes.
Add the garlic, ginger and jalapeño pepper. Stir and cook for another minute.
Add the amchur, paprika and turmeric. Stir for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes with another pinch of salt.
Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
Add the chickpeas with 1 cup of water. Stir and bring to a boil. If you want it saucier, to serve with rice, add up to 1 more cup of water.
Simmer, stirring ocasionally, for 5 minutes.
Mix in the fenugreek leaves and remove from heat. Taste for more salt. Let stand for 30 minutes, during which time the curry will thicken further.
Serve (over rice if desired) with the Cucumber Salsa served on top of individual servings.
Adapted from Meeru Dhalwala and Vikram Vij. It is peach season here, so I added peaches to this salsa. I would not hesitate to use other seasonal fruits throughout the year, or even other veggies, like roasted butternut squash. If you do not add a sweet fruit or veggie, consider that you might need to add a pinch of sugar, and if you add something tart, like fresh cranberries, you will certainly need to add sugar.
- 1 small red onion, finely diced and soaked in cold water for 15 minutes and then drained
- 1 hothouse (English) cucumber, seeds scraped out, peeled if desired, cut into cubes
- 2 ripe peaches, diced (I do not bother peeling)
- 2-3 T fresh lime juice (lemon is ok too)
- 1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 pinch salt
Prepare the red onion and let it soak. Drain.
Toss all of the ingredients together. Place in an airtight container and chill until needed.
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