I’m sure there’s a tagine with chick peas, though my book seems to have a chicken tagine which called for some slices of pickled lemon, the vinegary kind. And channa masala calls for a souring agent. When time is precious on a Sunday morning which you would rather spend vegetating on the couch than soaking tamarind for extract, and in the absence of an instant one such as amchur/dried mango powder, lime pickle comes in handy. I put things together willy-nilly and the result was a not-very-strange but not-very-traditional gravy.
The lime pickle I used is a traditional Andhra recipe but as haphazard was the operative note, I used three teaspoons of it in the tagine masala - now how’s that for a crossover name? It was hot, naturally, but definitely tamed by the onions, tomatoes and ginger-garlic paste that kept it company.
Here’s the recipe:
Couscous - 1 cup
Channa/chickpeas/garbanzo beans - 1 cup, soaked overnight if you’re using the dry ones
Onions - 3, chopped
Tomatoes - 3, chopped
Green chillies - 2, slit
Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Garam masala/Curry powder - 1 tbsp
Cumin seed/Jeera - ½ tsp
Turmeric - ½ tsp
Salt, to taste
Lime pickle - 3 tsp, with pieces
Oil - 2 tsp
Coriander, for garnish
Boil the chickpeas or pressure cook them till soft.
Heat the oil, add the cumin seed.
Now fry the onions till they become transparent.
Add the green chillies, saute.
Now add the ginger-garlic paste. Mix well, fry a while.
Add the turmeric, salt, curry powder and mix really well.
Now add the tomatoes, mix well, cook on simmer, covered, till mushy.
At this stage, the gravy will begin to talk to you. If it needs more water, give it some.
Add the chickpeas and the lime pickle.
Mix well, check the consistency of the gravy and add more water if you want to thin it down. Let it simmer for 3-5 minutes.
Check for taste, turn off the heat. Garnish with coriander.
Bring five cups of water to the boil, add a pinch of salt, add couscous and cook for 7-9 minutes. Drain.
I prefer to serve the couscous and the gravy separately so that whoever’s eating can decide the proportions for themselves.
I'm sending this off to Presto Pasta Nights hosted by Ruth at Once Upon a Feast
I've also joined The Foodie Blog Roll. You can find it in my sidebar, details when you click on it!
Presto Pasta Nights Couscous Lime pickle Chickpeas