I love chickpeas; they're delicious in a variety of recipes. I have posted recipes for a savory chickpea and tomato soup, and a chickpea stew made with potatoes and tomatoes. This dish from Deborah Madison's marvelous book Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is for those who love chickpeas, spicy food, and ginger. You can use the canned chickpeas for this recipe, but I always prefer starting with the dried and cooking them myself for better flavor and texture. I always make a double batch and freeze half for later use. Madison tells us that this recipe is inspired by a Bengali dish, so I decided to make some chapati to go along with it, though it can also be served with rice. Once the chickpeas are cooked, it's a snap to prepare.
3 Tbs vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
3 garlic cloves, minced (I used huge cloves...love garlic)
2 Tbs grated ginger
2 teas ground coriander
2 teas ground cumin
1/4 teas ground cardamom
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tomatoes, peeled and diced (I used a pint of home canned tomatoes)
1 1/2 cups chickpea broth or water
3 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 15 ounce cans, rinsed
juice of 1/2 lemon
garnishes: diced onion, minced jalapeno, chopped cilantro, diced tomato, presented in small dishes
(since I didn't have any of that on hand, I just used some chopped parsley that is still growing in the garden; the deer haven't finished it off yet.)
- Put oil and onion in a large skillet. Cook at medium heat until the onions are well browned, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Lower heat and add the bay leaf and spices, 1/2 teas each of salt and pepper, and the tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, then add broth or water and chickpeas.
- Simmer until the liquid is reduced to a thick sauce.
- Taste for salt and add lemon juice.
- Serve with the garnishes on the side, or sprinkle over the chickpeas.
And here for those of you who want to attempt making chapati, which is actually quite easy, is a recipe. It's from a very old cookbook that has simplified Indian recipes, called The Art of Indian Cooking by Monica Dutt; it's now a rare book, so super expensive.
2 cups whole wheat flour, preferably coarsely ground
1/4 teas salt
1 cup water, approximately
butter for spreading on breads, optional
- Mix salt with the flour in a bowl and slowly add water, mixing with your fingers. Add enough water for the dough to be soft.
- Knead the dough on a board for at least 5 minutes.
- Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit for at least 1 hour in a warm place.
- Knead the dough again, then divide into small pieces, about 10, forming each into a small ball.
- Pat the ball of dough flat between your hands, then roll out on a lightly floured surface into a very thin 5 to 6 inch circle. If the dough sticks, you need a little more flour for rolling it out.
- Heat a griddle or skillet until it's quite hot. Place as many chapatis as will fit on the surface for 15 seconds, then turn with a spatula. When brown spots appear, maybe after another half minute or so, turn it back to the first side. Gently rub the surface of the bread with the spatula, and it you're lucky, it will start to puff up. When it's got nice brown spots on both sides, it's done.
You can spread the warm bread with butter or ghee if you like.
Quick, simple, very very good.