Thanks for the recipe, I LOVE chickpeas, but I have only had them on a salad , I have not tried them any other way , but I will now....thanks again.
"Onions - Your favorite onion and particularly the regular yellow onion."
Hmm actually, Indians never use yellow onions, or white ones. Pyaz (onions) are usually the small red ones. They are hard to find in American grocery stores, so most people buy the them from a local Indian market, We purchase ours in ten pound sacks.
Of course, you can use whatever onion you prefer with great results, but I only mentioned it for authenticity sake.
Two things that were not in the list, and are far more essential to everyday Indian cooking than cloves, cinnamon, or cardamom is Asafoetida (hing) and Ghee (clarified butter) The smell of hing is pretty powerful, and is the odor that you probably most associate to an Indian market, but can not identify. It is made from the resin of a plant, gives a wonderful sulfurous taste much like onions and garlic, without using them, and is therefore a favorite among Jains. To use hing, get your oil, or ghee, nice and hot, and then before you add your mustard or cumin seeds add a pinch of it to the hot oil. The aroma changes immediately into something else. It really is a staple ingredient in our home cooking. Especially when cooking Dal.
And here are some of the hindi names of the most common spices that you will most like...
Hi Carol, Mustard oil is used throughout India, some regions use it daily, and others for special dishes. Like Sarson Ke Sag in Punjab. It has quite a flavor to it, and we do use it in our household, but usually in addition with other oils. When we fry the usual onion, garlic, ginger mix, we use a high heat mellow tasting oil, like Safflower, and add a teaspoon or two of mustard oil with it. Kinda the same way people use other high flavor oils, like sesame.
It is a personal taste, and sometimes we make a dish like aloo gobi, with it, and then maybe the next time we leave it out. It is totally up to you, Indian cuisine is very forgiving, and rarely are there "set" ingredients as in baking. A woman making palak paneer in north india, will make a very different tasting palak paneer than a woman in the South..but both are still identified as the same dish. So have fun, and don't worry.
You just should make sure that your mustard oil is food grade. Mustard oil is used in India for other things as well, lamp oil, squeaky door hinge fixer.. you name it. You can get a bottle from your local indian store that is safe to cook with for about $3.00.