Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday's Menu: Chickpeas

Our favorite food is probably chickpeas. I think we consume it on a daily basis, usually in hummus form. Sometimes roasted and seasoned, sometimes in soup. Regardless of the way, it finds its way into our bodies a lot. There's always cans of it hanging out in the cupboards.
We make hummus a lot, but I think my new favorite way to eat it is in stew form. I found a recipe for an Ethiopian-Style Chickpea Stew from Whole Foods and adjusted it a little bit, to add more veggies and flavor.

You need these spices: paprika, allspice, cardamom, clove, coriander, ginger, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, salt & pepper.
You need these veggies: chickpeas, onion, carrots, garlic, potatoes & whatever else you think might be good! I also added green peppers, mushrooms and peas.
You need these liquids: vegetable broth, tomato paste & extra virgin olive oil. Pete and I made our own broth, but you can definitely buy some from the store. It makes it much easier.

Amount wise?
Use your judgement with the spices. Most of my friends hate that I never measure anything out, because when they ask for the recipe, I always say "to taste" when it comes to that. You know, start out small, then go big! I always add TONS of heat to my recipes, which I am sure most people would not love. I do a lot of tasting throughout my cooking to make sure it's how I like it. I'd say start with abut 1/4-1/2 teaspoons of each.
I used 2 cans of chickpeas, 1 onion, 1 pepper, 1 small can of tomato paste, a few taters, carrots, cloves of garlic, tons of mushrooms (I love them...) and a bunch of veggie broth. Everything chop-able, chop into bite sized chunks. Garlic and onions should be finely chopped.

First things first, lightly oil a pan, roast the chickpeas for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees F in the stove. While this is happening, on high, boil the potatoes and carrots.
Also simultaneously, in another pot, a BIG one, on medium, heat the rest of the oil in a really big pot and add the garlic, onions, and peppers. Cook until they're tender. Stir in the tomato paste and small amounts of each spice. (You can always add more when you get a feeling for the taste. Cardamom is my favorite spice, so I always add a lot of that.)
Don't forget to keep an eye on the potatoes and carrots too! When they're about halfway cooked, drain them and save them to add to your big pot.
After a few minutes, put in the broth, chickpeas, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms and peas. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so it becomes a simmer. Do some tasting, add more spices to taste. About 20 minutes after you reduce the heat, everything will be cooked through and the stew is edible, but it's best to let it cook for awhile longer so that the sauce thickens and all the veggies become tender.
Serve with bread and enjoy! Or if you're like Pete and me, in a sourdough bread bowl. They make everything taste more awesome. We use the bread machine he got me for my birthday all the time. Hot fresh baked bread! So perfect.

It's exotic!
It feeds you for days!
It's delicious!
It's vegan!
It's Ethiopian chickpea stew!

(Next time I'll try to take more photos.)

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