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Monday, November 14, 2011

Meatless Mondays with La Bella Figura

When the weather gets cold, most people get a craving for their favorite comfort food : macaroni and cheese, stews, pot pies, fried chicken, and all other sorts of other dishes mom used to make. Unlike most people, when I want something comforting it's all about Indian food. To me there's nothing more satisfying or comforting than chickpeas and potatoes simmered in rich tomato broths or vegetables bathed in a light cream sauce with deep rich flavors.

With the winter approaching, I thought I'd share one of my go-to Indian recipes for those chilly nights ahead when you need something soothing. This dish is also really easy to put together. Chickpeas are a great source of manganese, an antioxidant that is fundamental in the energy-producing mitochondria found inside most cells. Lots of recipes call for you to core and seed your tomatoes, but I suggest leaving the seeds in; tomato seeds are really high in lycopene (it's found in the rest of your tomato as well but heat breaks down the tomato flesh and destroys much of the lycopene). Lycopene not only promotes brain and immune functions, but it also improves the texture of your skin and supplies free-radical scavengers that help stop the signs of aging. For this reason, we use tomato seed oil in our under eye serum Decouverte. Serve this vegan dish over basmati rice and naan on the side, and you've got yourself one satisfying meals!

Gobi Chole/ Spiced Cauliflower with Chickpeas

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and julienned
2 small vine ripened or plum tomatoes, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
1tbsp tomato paste
3/4 tsp chili powder
1tsp coriander seeds, toasted and crushed to a powder in your mortar and pestle * (see note)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and crushed to a powder in your mortar and pestle*  (see note)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp chopped cilantro leaves
1 green onion finely sliced
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp (or more) salt to taste
1 cup water

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the ginger and the onions and saute, stirring, until onions soften. Add the dry spice powders and saute for a minute; add the tomatoes.Cook until tomatoes soften and start to break apart, about 5-6 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and water. Gently fold in the cauliflower and chickpeas. Add the salt, cover and reduce heat to medium low, cook for 10 minutes. Add the peas and cook for another 5-6 minutes or until cauliflower is cooked through. If you'd like to sauce to be a bit thicker, remove lid and cook until sauce is preferred consistency.

* if your pressed for time or don't have a mortar and pestle, you can just use coriander and cumin powder.

Adapted from a recipe I found at the wonderful food blog Malabar Spices.

Hope you enjoy!

                           En Bonne Sante,


  1. I think you should send me your chili recipe because when X made it, it was delish!