Saturday, July 2, 2011

overnight soaking is so worth it.

I cooked dried chickpeas for the first time a few weeks ago, and I'm converted. Don't get me wrong, there will still be a few cans hanging out in my pantry for those last minute recipes. But the texture and flavour was so much better, and they cost a fraction of the price of canned... not to mention the environmental impact of importing dried beans is much lower than the weight and bulk of canned. All they need is an overnight soak in lots of water (throw the pot in the fridge to prevent it from fermenting, especially in the summer weather). Then just cook them in their soaking liquid for around 2 hours, until tender.

Here's a delicious recipe from Vegetarian Times. The second time I made it, I substituted some sweet potatoes for some of the carrots, with very satisfactory results. Tagine is a North African stew, traditionally cooked in a heavy clay pot. Moroccan versions usually include stewing meat, various vegetables and some sort of fruit - apricots, raisins, quinces or pears.

Chickpea Tagine with Carrots and Honey

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
  • 3 cups of cooked chickpeas (or 2 cans)
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced into thin rounds
  • ¼ cup dried currants
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • salt and pepper
  • Saute the onion and garlic in a large pot, until translucent. Add chickpeas, carrots, currants, spices and honey, along with 2 cups of water. Simmer for 20-25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, garnished with sour cream or yogurt and some cilantro or parsley.

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