December 29, 2014

Tropical Chickpea Stew

During our recent trip to a middle eastern restaurant, we were having a conversation about chickpeas. During the discussion we found that it is one ingredient that is used in so many cultures, and each one used in a different way, that you cannot make out that they are all from the same ingredient as all of them taste so different. It is probably one of the most common ingredient every ethnic group finds some use in their kitchen. We use chick peas in many ways in India itself, starting with the varieties of channa masala and besan (chickpea flour) used for many snacks. Then we have the hummus from the middle east, the different chickpea stews from the African continent, all the different types of chickpea salads from the Americas and Europe, chickpea soups from Europe and Asia... the list goes on and on. Also chickpeas fits well into many diet regimes, if you are into any.. vegan, gluten-free, paleo, low carb. you name it. Moreover, chickpeas come loaded with nutrients, are high fiber content, low glycemic index, heart healthy and a good source of plant based protein. The phytochemical known as saponins found in chickpeas are good for women's health...all reasons to stock up chickpeas.  Today's recipe is a simple, hearty tropical stew made with chickpeas, baby greens, mango all simmered in spiced coconut milk.  

  • Chickpeas - 1 cup (soaked for 12 -18 hours)
  • Sea salt - as per taste
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Virgin coconut oil - 2 Tbs
  • Garlic - 3-4 cloves (chopped)
  • Ginger - 2 Tbs (chopped) 
  • Red chilly - 3-4
  • Tomato - 3 medium (quartered) 
  • Red onion - 1 large (chopped)
  • Baby greens - 2 cups (Spinach, kale, swiss chard  or a mix) 
  • Ripe mango - 1/2 cup (cubes) 
  • Homemade coconut milk - 2 cup (recipe here)
  • Chopped cilantro - 1/2 cup 

  • Drain and rinse chickpeas, cook with 1 1/2 cups of water, salt and turmeric powder. Keep aside.
  • Heat 1 Tbs of coconut oil on medium heat and sauté ginger, garlic and when they are slightly roasted, add tomato and red chilly, sauté for 2-3 minutes. Remove from flame, puree the whole thing to sort of a spiced tomato purée. Keep aside.
  • Blend coconut milk and a handful of chickpeas to a smooth consistency. 
  • Heat remaining 1 Tbs of coconut oil and sauté red onion until slightly golden. 
  • Add tomato puree and mango cubes. Cook on low medium heat till mango is soft (for about 3-4 minutes). 
  • Add baby greens, chickpeas and coconut milk-chickpea purée. Simmer on low medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Adjust seasonings and switch off. 
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve warm. 
  • Enjoy!!

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