Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Keep the Spirit Bright

      I just wrote an email to my Capricorn cohort, urging him to try this recipe before the month is out. It won't fit into the traditional holiday spreads but let that not deter you from making it -- soon.  Topped with cilantro, the dish will blend into the season with the rest of the gifts. The yogurt and onion chicpea-flour dumplings are dense and rich which the spiced tomato broth balances brilliantly, helping to keep the spirit bright.

Dharan Ji Kadhi (Chicpea-flour Dumplings in Spiced Tomato Sauce)
adapted from Savuer's April #156 issue

      While there is no "real" substitution for curry leaves, which the original recipe calls for, I recently made this with curry powder instead of leaves and it made for a cozier experience with the warming addition of cinnamon and cardamom. These dumplings are a joyous experience, regardless of the spiced broth, and adding a few handfuls of kale makes this dish into a well-rounded meal.


1 1/2 c chickpea flour
1/2 c finely chopped cilantro
1/4 c canola oil, plus more for frying
1/4 c plain yogurt (or coconut milk yogurt)
1 t sea salt

2 serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced
1 large white onion, minced

1/4 c olive oil
1/2 t ground coriander
1/2 t cumin powder
1/2 t curry powder
1/2 t ground turmeric
1/2 t mustard powder (or 1 t mustard seeds)
 3/4 t salt, or more to taste
15-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
2" piece ginger, peeled and grated
3 garlic cloves, minced

a few handfuls of chopped kale (optional)
1 1/2 c water

1/4 c finely chopped cilantro

Cooked basmati rice




      Boil a 6-qt. saucepan of salted water. Mix flour, cilantro, ¼ cup canola oil, yogurt, salt, half each of the serranos and onions in a bowl to make a dough. Divide and roll dough into four 4"-long logs or into individual 1½" dumplings using an ice cream scooper or another spoon-like instruments. Add to water; simmer, covered, until firm, 4-6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to paper towels. 

     In a heavy bottomed skillet or dutch oven; add enough canola oil to reach a depth of 2". Heat until a deep-fry thermometer inserted in the oil reads 350°. Slice rolls into 1½" dumplings; fry until crisp, 2-4 minutes; drain. (If you don't want to worry about a thermometer, you can pan-fry the dumplings in less oil over medium-high heat until crisp, flipping once.)

      Heat olive oil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add coriander, cumin, curry, tumeric, mustard powder and salt, stirring constantly for 10 seconds. Add remaining serranos and onions, plus tomatoes, ginger and garlic; cook until caramelized, 5-7 minutes. Add 1½ cups water and kale, if using; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook until thick, 6-8 minutes. Add dumplings; heat until hot. Garnish with cilantro and serve with hot basmati rice. 

Yields: enough for 4, with leftovers
Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

Writing, Styling and Photography by Adria Lee (Amy is at work)

1 comment:

  1. Inner warming is called for in this weather=perfect recipe for today! Great photography as you supply the visual with Amy at work:)