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Curried Chickpeas

Curried Chickpeas can be vegan, non-vegan, spicy or not. It’s up to you.

Chickpeas – are they a good source of protein?

Yes.  One cup of chickpeas can contain 15 grams of protein, fiber, folate and iron (Livestrong.com).  Chickpeas are a healthy source of carbs.  Once a somewhat exotic food, chickpeas are now a staple in many kitchens.  Perhaps you are thinking that this is not the case, but open your fridge and if there is a container of Hummus, then you are eating chickpeas.  Cooked overnight, or pre-cooked from a can, either way chickpeas are easy to add to recipes and keep on hand in the pantry.

How do you cook chickpeas?

We soak chickpeas overnight, just like dried beans.  The next day drain the water, rinse the chickpeas a few times and then put them into a pot.  Fill the water to about 3″/8cm above the chickpeas, and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and skim the foam off the top.  Chickpeas are done when they are soft to the bite.  (It is recommended to add a teaspoon of baking soda to the soaking water.).

Don’t have time to soak overnight and cook.  Keep cans of organic chickpeas on hand in the cupboard.  Drain, rinse and heat.  Add to recipe just as you would with any type of bean.

Are chickpeas vegan friendly?

Totally.  Only time a chickpea loses it vegan aspect is if meat or dairy products are added to the dish.  They are a very versatile food. The flavor is a slightly nutty taste, and very mild.  It takes well to a wide variety of seasonings, but the ones we use the most frequently are Italian and Indian blends.

What is a chickpea vs a garbonzo bean?

Same exact thing.  Just a different name. BUT – chickpeas or garbonzo beans are not beans, they are legumes.  Legumes are things like peas and lentils (which are dried peas).  Confused? We were too.  Think of them like big peas that have a slightly stronger taste, more protein and can function like a bean.

What does curry mean?

Curry means several things. A curry is really a stew-like dish consisting of vegetables, meat, fish or legumes from the Indian cuisine.  When one goes out for a curry in England, the meaning is that one is going out for Indian food.  Curry is the name for a seasoning blend in today’s kitchen vernacular.  The curry powder that you probably have going stale, unless you eat a good bit of curry, is actually a blend that was created by the British.  Indian seasonings for a curry, meaning a stew-like dish can vary from recipe to recipe, and region to region.

What is curry powder vs curry paste?

Curry powder and curry paste are pre-made combinations of spices that can be added when cooking.  On the one hand they can both be added at any point in the cooking process and get roughly similar results.  Curry paste quite often has already been “bloomed.”  This means it has been heated in oil and has been slightly toasted to bring out a slightly different nuance in the flavor.  Packed in jars, they are wet, thick and usually have an oil base.  Curry powder is a dried version of the spice blend.  Some of the components have been “bloomed” before pulverizing, but generally not the entire blend.  You will see many recipes that call for “blooming” the spices before adding to the dish.  This simply means that you toast the spices in a bit of oil before adding them to the recipe.  Once the scent starts to waft from the pan-STOP!  If you burn spices when toasting them, toss.  It will ruin the flavor of your dish.  The only time charred tastes good is when it is from the grill.

How do you make curry powder?

This is a question that I am frequently asked as we make a curry flavored wild Maine blueberry jam called Madras at Bleuberet.  It gets used on fish and meat most frequently, although I have been known to eat it on peanut butter, but then again I can eat anything with peanut butter.  For Bleuberet I make a curry seasoning blend.  It is not hard, but it does require blooming the spices and then having a grinder that can make a powder out of the hard spices.  A blender will not suffice, nor will a food processor.  The spices will not get pulverized and you will end up with chunks of coriander seeds and fenugreek.  If you are going to make your own curry seasoning, I highly recommend a spice grinder that can have the plastic part go into the dishwasher (it helps to wash the oils off and eliminate cross-flavoring).  While I cannot reveal our secret blend for Bleuberet, I can offer these suggestions that I have used in the past to create a really good curry blend:

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 1 HR 15 Min

Ingredients

  • 32oz/920g chickpeas, canned or DIY cooked
  • 8oz/230ml tomato purée
  • 2 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 TBSP safflower oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed, or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 TBSP curry powder, pre-made spice blend or DIY (see links above)
  • 1 cup water or vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 avocados, peeled and sliced

Instructions

1

DRIED CHICKPEAS:

2

Cook the chickpeas by soaking overnight in water and cooking for 45 minutes or by boiling for 1-1.5 hours.

3

Drain and set aside until the sauce is ready.

4

CANNED CHICKPEAS:

5

Open cans, drain chickpeas in a strainer and rinse. Set aside until ready to use.

6

Heat oil in a large skillet.

7

Add sliced onions and cook until they start to caramelize.

8

Add garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Do not allow the garlic to burn if using fresh.

9

Add curry powder. Cook for a minute.

10

Add tomato sauce and water or stock.

11

Cook for about 5-6 minutes over a low heat to thicken the sauce.

12

Add salt and pepper.

13

Add chickpeas and heat through.

14

In the meantime, slice avocado to serve on the side.

Notes

The measurements in this recipe are for a main course for 4-6. To make as a side dish, halve the ingredients, other than the oil-use what is needed to cook the onions. This dish can be served hot, room temperature or cold. Rice or other grains are perfect complements. Top with greek yogurt or Quark if desired.

Chickpeas the perfect vegan/vegetarian option for a high protein, non-meat dinner. Modern, tasty, and so easy. Click To Tweet
Curried Chickpeas-vegan or vegetarian, yum.

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