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18 October 2015 @ 08:45 pm
Fifty Weeks, Fifty Curries: Week Forty-Nine: Chana Curry  
It's listed in the book as "chanas or chole," based on which ethnic group is referring to it, but the phrasing reminds me of some kind of Fremen ritual.

It's a chickpea kind of day. softlykarou and I went to the symphony to see the Shen Yun Orchestra, which was pretty good, although I admit I preferred the original compositions over their performance of Western works. The best was Capturing Arrows with Boats of Straw--no recording, but the link explains the reference--and in trying to find a recording I learned that there's a yojijukugo (or rather, the Chinese equivalent, which Wikipedia tells me is 成语 chéngyǔ) written 草船借箭 (cǎo chuán jiè jiàn), which means using someone else's resources to achieve your goals.

I kind of lost the thread of my story there, but the relevance to this week's curry is that we stopped into Falafel Island and had some falafel as a snack on the way home, since softlykarou's stomach was bothering her all day yesterday and today she was hungry enough to make up for it. They were making a fresh batch when we ordered, so we got them still hot and whatever the falafel equivalent of juicy is, tore into them (even though they didn't give us the tahini they were supposed to) and then went home and had more chickpeas.

Onions, tomatoes, and garlic. You know it's a curry.

I would have rather had falafel curry, I think.  photo emot-v.gif

This is another week where the curry was incredibly bland, and coincidentally, it's also another week where the curry didn't have any chilis in it. I took a bite, said, "This tastes like mush," and then softlykarou had an idea. She asked me to go into the kitchen and get the salt, which I did, and then we both added salt to our curries as the recipe suggested. Then it tasted like salted mush. I actually think it tasted like the nutrient-rich mush the crew were eating in that one scene from The Matrix, or at least, what I expect such a mesh would taste like. I was, obviously, not a fan.

I finished it all because I didn't hate it, but I foresee the leftovers rotting away in our fridge until we bow to the inevitable and throw them away. Shrug photo shrug001.gif

That ninja blender is definitely getting a workout.

Words from the Chef
Since we were going to a concert today, I opted to use canned chickpeas. In retrospect, given the constraints of the day it made sense. However, I think some of the blandness was most likely a result of using canned chickpeas instead of dried ones. I'd like to take another crack at this curry under those conditions. My biggest issue with the recipe is that it doesn't effectively communicate how to treat the canned peas different from dried ones until much later in the recipe and it's pretty buried in there. Basically, I took a shortcut that I shouldn't have because Lazy American and my curry suffered.

It even looks like the slop they eat on board the Nebuchadnezzer.

50 Great Curries of India suggests that this has a flavor of cumin, or a sour tang if made in the Sindhi fashion. Neither of those flavors was in evidence at all. The recipe also suggests serving it over bread, which I guess we could have done, but it would have just resulted in the same problem that omelette curry had, where the bread was by far the best part of the meal and the curry was an afterthought. I mean, the curry was an afterthought anyway, but I tend not to like making bread the centerpiece of the meal even if the order and primacy of brachot would suggest that's the proper way to conceptualize it.

I can't really find anything else in the recipe to suggest what it was that was missing. I think this one was just another dud.

Looks a bit better as a finished product, but doesn't taste any better. The highlight here was the salmon.

Would I Eat It Again?: No, and I doubt I will.
Do I Prefer It to the Usual Thai Curry?:  photo emot-black101.gif
What Would I Change?: Other than making trying it with raw chickpeas, I'd suggest actually making it with falafel. It surely can't get any worse than Matrix chow.
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