Through her comments on my blog, I found Mallika's Quick Indian Cooking site and tried out the spiced chickpeas recipe this evening. I was a little worried about my ability to pull off the recipe considering most of my attempts at Indian cooking have turned out okay, but not nearly as good as what I've had at restaurants.
I was determined to follow the recipe to the letter (well, except I used Canola oil instead of sunflower) but was somewhat thwarted by the fact that I belatedly discovered that I had neither garlic nor ginger in the apartment. With the onions already cooking, I rushed off to QQ and hoped they'd have both. I was perfectly aware that this was a monumentally stupid thing to do. Visions of an earthquake bringing the kitchen walls down on my open flame and burning down the whole joint flashed through my mind as I hustled out and back. After all, one of my students spent half a lesson telling me that one of the reasons the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 was so devastating was that it happened at lunchtime and many people were using open fires to cook lunch. I was tempting fate, albeit to an infinitesimal degree.
Fortunately, QQ had both ingredients. Unfortunately, I didn't know what fresh ginger looked like and was frowning in moderate confusion at the packages trying to make sure the gnarled stubs I saw were actually fresh ginger.
The dish turned out wonderfully. It just goes to show if you have a good teacher and you do what you're told, you can't fail. I'm looking forward to trying other recipes in the near future.