Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hunger Challenge Recipe: Curried Garbanzo Beans

I’ve mentioned before that I love Indian food but have no clue how to cook it properly, since I have not yet been taught all the proper spice combination secrets. However, it doesn’t mean that I don’t try to make something Indian-esque from time to time. Though this is far from authentic, it’s still full of the flavor and aroma that Indian cuisine is known for, making this a delicious and healthy option for anyone to try.

Though the spice issue can be a problem for some, especially if you’re not able to afford or find some of the more exotic spices out there, one good thing about food from this area of the world is that it’s based in what I call “bare bones staples” (things like grains & legumes). This makes it easy to make some pretty basic recipes at the very least, and you can find most of these items in most grocery stores. If you are lucky enough to have a decently stocked spice pantry, you can play around with aromas and flavors as much as you like. That’s exactly what I did with this simple dish. What if you find spices to be too expensive? Check out my tip on how to Find Your Spice Staples for some cost-effective tips on how to stock your spice pantry. Even with a very, very limited income, (which I, myself, am definitely feeling right now), you can still have access and afford some of the things that can make even the most ordinary food really tasty.

Curried Garbanzo Beans – Makes 3 servings; Total Cost for Recipe: $1.22; Cost per serving (with rice): $0.51
1 can of garbanzo beans, drained, with liquid reserved
½ medium tomato, diced
½ yellow onion, diced
1/8 t curry powder
1/8 t ground nutmeg
1/8 t sea salt
1/8 t granulated garlic
1/8 t cayenne pepper
2 T cooking oil

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until they begin to soften and become translucent. Add the beans and about half the reserved liquid, as well as the diced tomatoes and all the spices. Cook over medium low heat for about 10 minutes or so, allowing the garbanzos to soften and absorb the flavor. The sauce should thicken on its own during the cooking process. Serve over white rice, add some fresh cilantro if you like, and enjoy!


  1. Re: The Spice Issue...Check out bulk spices...they are out there.

    Winco has bulk spices that are very inexpensive especially if you are just purchasing for a single recipe. We have supplemented our spices this way several times especially if it isn't something we use often. I know Winco isn't as easy to get to if you live in town and take transit but there are also bulk spices at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op.

  2. I just started cooking more Indian food at our place through this book

    Basically she uses 5 spices to make all of the recipes, so it really cut down on what you needed to buy to start it. And the dal costs about $1 to make 4 servings, which we usually eat with the spicy cabbage. Or the railway potatoes are also an amazingly delicious and fililng dinner. You are right about the 'bare bones staples' with Indian food just spiced up so it feels like a treat.
    Really glad I found your blog through the Hunger Challenge.

  3. I make a recipe that is almost identical to this one! The only difference is that I use canned tuna instead of beans. So yummy!

  4. I'm really impressed with how this hunger challenge has already helped you unleash still more food creativity. You really do eat very well on surprisingly little money! It's inspiring following your blog.

    Casual Kitchen

  5. Just made this, and your right it was yummy! I recently bought an excessive amount of garbanzo beans cause I found a name brand on sale for $0.66 each. I still had several cans left and needed a meal to take to lunch also. Plus I threw in a bunch of veggies that were at the about to go bad stage (eggplant, zucchini, celery, and green pepper). I did end up doubling the spices to accommodate though. Turned out great! Thanks for the idea!



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