Search This Blog

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Curried Chick Pea and Potato - around 70 cents a serve!

It’s time to put up one of the easiest dishes that I know and love - Curried chick pea with potato is one of many snack dishes from India that fall under the collective name of “chaat” (pronounced chart).  I cooked it up as part of a lunch meal for 5 during my week-long challenge to Live Below the Line.  A group of my colleagues and I got together to cook for each other while sticking to a budget of eating for no more than $2 a day - that's all meals and snacks - all day!  It's towards a good cause to raise money for people in extreme poverty in countries like Cambodia and Papua New Guinea.  The money will help fund education and skills training to break the cycle of poverty in such countries.  Check out my page on the Live Below the Line website for all the details of this worthwhile charity and also to see how our team went each day.  Feel free to donate generously as the site will be accepting donations until July 31st 2013.
No more chatting, now back to the “chaat-ing”.  This dish was very inexpensive to say the least and has a surprisingly good kick of flavour too.  The dish costs just $3.06c – so that is a microscopic  61 cents per serve add 10 cents worth of flatbreads - and our bellies are nourished and filled thoroughly.
I have given the costs that incurred against the ingredients in the list that follows.  Try it, you won’t be disappointed – if anything, this dish is proof that we can cook up some really inexpensive meals, that don’t break the budget, and can still be nutritious and sustaining.

Ingredients, to serve 5
2 tbsp x Canola oil = 0.06c
4 x medium Potatoes = 0.40c
2 cans x Chick Peas, washed and drained (You can choose to use the dried ones but for the sake of time I have used the canned ones) = $1.79c
3 x onions, sliced = 3 x 0.5c (I got these at 60c for a kilo – so really cheap!)
2 x Garlic cloves, crushed = 0.10c
1 inch x Ginger. grated = 0.10c
3 tbsp x Tomato paste = 0.12c  
2 tsp x Coriander powder = 0.08c
2 tsp x Cumin powder = 0.08c
1 tsp x Turmeric powder = 0.04c
½ tsp x Chilli powder = 0.01c
1 tsp x Salt = 0.04c
3 Fresh chillies, deseeded and chopped = 0.02c
2 tsp x Coriander leaves chopped = 0.25c
Water as required.
TOTAL curry cost = $3.06
We ate these with home-made flatbreads which costed 0.50c for 500g of Wholemeal flour
TOTAL Meal = $3.56c
Place 1 tbsp of the oil into a heavy pan and heat on medium
Add the sliced onions and fry for 5 minutes until soft 
Place enough water to cover the potatoes into a saucepan and boil until potatoes are done
When cooled, peel and chop potatoes into rough cubes, reserve for later
Once onions are softened, add in the garlic, ginger and tomato paste and fry for 3 minutes, stirring constantly 
Place the cooked down mixture into a blender and allow to cool slightly
Process to a thick smooth paste - this is the curry paste
Clean out and dry the pan then return to the heat with the remaining tablespoon of oil
Add the dry spices and chick peas stirring well to combine 
Now add in the curry paste and a little water 
Stir through to completely coat the chick peas  
Add in the cooked potatoes from earlier
Stir through and allow to simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes
Add extra water as required to ensure that a thick gravy remains
Do not let the curry dry out
To serve place the curry into a bowl and garnish with chopped chilli and coriander

In India this dish is usually enjoyed with deep fried "purees" which are basically made up from plain flour mixed water into a dough then rolled flat and finally fried nice and crispy.
For the more frugal (as this week has been for us) I highly recommend flatbreads or "chaapatis" with this dish as they go together perfectly
Ingredients and directions
Take 500g of wholemeal flour (atta) and combine with boiling water into a workable dough - use a wooden spoon to do this
Knead the dough into a 25 equal balls
Use a rolling pin to roll these out to as flat as possible - thin but not see through
Heat a heavy frypan (unless you have an Indian "tawa" as in my pic) on medium to high heat 
Cook the flatbreads for a minute on each side but do not allow to burn
Eat them fresh with any curries or dahl dishes 
They are light and delicious and at 50 cents for the entire batch - a very cheap alternative to regular carbohydrate accompaniments - especially the ones that cost so much from a Indian restaurant!     

No comments: