Friday, April 18, 2014

Indian-Spiced Vegetables and Chickpeas with Raisins

I'm not really sure what made me save this e-mail from the Splendid Table, except I liked that it sounded easy yet exotic, and that I'm always looking for new meatless dishes. I wasn't expecting the sum of the dish to be so much more than its parts, however. It's a simple idea - just roasted veggies tossed with chickpeas, raisins, garam masala, lemon and some parsley. But wow, was it full of flavor!

As an added bonus, this dish makes cauliflower actually taste good, a feat I never suspected was possible (being a staunch cauliflower hater as a matter of course). I liked this dish so much, I am making it again in a few days.

Indian-Spiced Vegetables and Chickpeas with Raisins (Serves 4)
From Meatless All Day by Dina Cheney

28 ounces baby red potatoes, quartered
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons coarse salt, divided
5 grinds black pepper
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 2- x 1/2-inch matchsticks
1 small head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
1/2 cup raisins or currants
One 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed, strained lemon juice
1 teaspoon garam masala (without salt)
About 2 cups plain yogurt, for serving

1. Place two oven racks in the top two-thirds of the oven. Place a rimmed baking sheet on the top rack and heat the oven to 400°F. Once the oven is hot, carefully remove the hot pan. Using tongs, toss the potatoes well with half of the oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and all of the pepper. Roast until the potatoes are tender and golden brown and crispy in many parts, about 50 minutes, tossing halfway through.

2. On another rimmed baking sheet, toss the carrots, 2 tablespoons oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; spread on one side of the pan and roast for 15 minutes (put this pan on the lower oven rack); remove the baking sheet from the oven and use a spatula to flip over the carrots. Onto the empty half of the baking sheet, use tongs to toss the cauliflower florets, the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Keep the carrots and cauliflower separate as best as possible. Return the pan to the oven and roast the carrots and cauliflower until both are tender when poked with a fork and golden brown in a few spots, about another 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with 1/2 cup of boiling or very hot water. Let sit until the raisins are tender, about 30 minutes, then drain.

4. Pour the potatoes, carrots, and cauliflower (with their oil) into a large bowl, then add the drained raisins, drained chickpeas, parsley, lemon juice, garam masala, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss well with tongs. Divide among the serving plates and add a dollop of yogurt alongside each portion