WRITTEN ON September 25th, 2009 BY Meredith AND STORED IN Chick peas, Dinner, Indian, No really, what IS for lunch?, Side Dish, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

What is it about curry that strikes fear in the hearts of so many meat and potatoes Americans? Just the mention of it makes my father get twitchy and start looking for the exit. I think perhaps people just assume that curry is synonymous with thick, heavy, saucy, coconut-y dishes that smell vaguely like a taxi cab. Not so, my dear friends! Curry is a widely used, incredibly varied spice. It is complex and nuanced, and tastes warm and exotic. If you’re new to the curry train, try this recipe. It was adapted from The Barefoot Contessa (my hero), and the curry flavor is light and aromatic and matches perfectly with the other ingredients. The tumeric gives it a sunny yellow color that’s downright cheerful. It makes enough that there are plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day (when it actually tastes better). It goes with practically anything, grilled chicken, lamb, beef, salmon…it’s hugely versatile and also super healthy. I substituted whole wheat couscous (you could also use barley couscous) and added chick peas for some bulk and protein. Try it out. Hey, you might be a curry convert in no time!

Not just for taxi drivers!

Not just for taxi drivers!

Curried Chick Pea Couscous (serves 4 as a side)
1 cup whole wheat couscous
1 cup water
¼ red onion, small dice
3 scallions, sliced thin
1 carrot, small dice
1 handful sliced almonds
1 handful currants
1 handful flat leaf parsley, chopped fine
1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
¼ cup plain yogurt
¼ cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp curry powder (preferably Madras)
1 tsp tumeric
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil your water. Place couscous in a medium sized bowl. When water is boiling, add a teaspoon of salt, then pour over couscous. Cover tightly with foil, set aside. In the meantime, whisk together yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, curry powder, tumeric and salt and pepper. Once the couscous is cooked (about 7 minutes), fluff with a fork and allow to cool slightly (if you add the yogurt while it is steaming hot it will curdle the yogurt). Once couscous has cooled a bit, toss in veggies, almonds, currants, chick peas. Toss with dressing. This is best served at room temp, and it’s even better the next day.

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