This is an easy slow cooker recipe, but can also be done on the stove top. This vegetarian recipe can be made vegan by substituting vegetable oil for the ghee. Also, feel free to substitute butter for the ghee.
Hat tip to my wife, airexurb, for finding the recipe. I just made it more "authentic."
Assemble the goods:
* 2 cans of diced tomatoes
* 2 cans of chickpeas
* 1 small onion
* 3 Serrano peppers
* 5 cloves of garlic
* Salt (I use kosher)
* Ghee (feel free to substitute butter of vegetable oil)
* Whole coriander seeds
* Whole cloves
* Ground turmeric
* Garam masala
* Whole cumin seed
* Whole cardamom
Regarding the peppers: these are necessary, but the amount and kind you use are optional. I like Serranos because they're cheap, readily available here and hotter than Jalapenos. The quantity you use is up to you. These Serranos are rather hot, and I would use 5 or 6 if cooking for myself, but my wife and mother-in-law both thought this batch was a little too hot.
Regarding the whole spices: I buy nearly all of my spices whole. Whole spices keep longer, and -- depending on where you get them -- tend to be of a higher quality. Plus, I can toast the spices myself. If you only have ground, feel free to use them, but skip the toasting and grinding steps.
Chop up all of your aromatics:
Let's mix and toast our spices:
2 TBS of cumin
1 TBS of coriander
8-10 whole cloves
5-8 whole cardamom pods:
My grandma taught me to break the cardamom pods apart. You can just use your thumbnails to peel the pod and shake out the seeds:
Preheat a skillet to medium-low:
Throw all of the above spices (no turmeric or garam masala) into the skillet, tossing frequently, and cook until slightly browned and very aromatic:
Meanwhile, preheat another (large) skillet to medium heat.
The flash kind of washes out the "done" color of the spices.
Bust out your trusty spice grinder. I don't actually own a spice grinder, but I have two coffee grinders, one of which is dedicated to my Indian spices. I've had this Krupps grinder for probably 13 years. The stains you see on the side are from where I taped the lid shut through 4 moves.
Grind the heck out of those spices. You want to end up with a relatively fine powder.
Heat up two tablespoons of fat (I prefer ghee) over medium heat.
Add your onions.
And a heavy pinch of salt (probably a teaspoon's worth)
Once the onions have started to sweat down a bit, add the garlic.
Then the toasted and ground spices.
Stir it all up.
Add 2 TBS of ground turmeric and keep stirring. A technical SNAFU involving a broken spice jar broke the picture taking rhythm.
Add in both cans of tomatoes (juice and all)
Stir it all up.
Drain and rinse both cans of chickpeas.
Cauliflower is optional, but a great addition.
Add the cauliflower and chickpeas to the slow cooker.
Add the sauce from the pan (or, add everything else to the pan if not using a slow cooker)
Stir it all up.
Spinach is also optional, but a welcome addition.
Chop it up and just set it on top.
Put the lid on and set the slow cooker to low.
Set a timer for one hour.
The garam masala (whole).
Toast up about 2 TBS.
Grind it up.
Mix everything up.
Add the garam masala.
Set a timer for half-an-hour.
Stir and serve over basmati rice. Garnish with fresh spinach and cilantro, if desired.
DO NOT SPILL THE MIXTURE ON YOUR CLOTHES. Turmeric is often used as a clothing dye and will not wash out