Winner, Winner, Chickpea Dinner

Afternoon baseball has a way of building an appetite while simultaneously sapping the will to invest the time and effort to make a complex meal. This dish tastes complex, but it's pretty simple to make, and takes only one pot (plus a pot for rice). The inspiration for this dish comes from here, here and here. It can be made with dried chana dal, but my kids actually prefer the quick version with canned chick peas (garbanzo beans).

2 cans chick peas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed 1 large onion, finely chopped
1 inch ginger, finely minced 3-4 cloves garlic, crushed and finely minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped 1/4 cup olive oil or a mix of canola and butter
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes 1 tbsp ground chile
1 tbsp ground cumin 1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp ground coriander seed 1 tbsp garam masala
1 can diced tomatoes juice of half a lemon
2 cups water 1/2 tsp kosher salt
about 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

In a heavy pot (such as a cast iron dutch oven), heat the oil and fry the onions for 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeno and ginger and fry 1-2 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes, chile, cumin, turmeric, salt and coriander and fry, stirring, for another minute (if necessary, add 1-2 tbsp water to form a paste in the pot). Add the tomatoes, with juices, and fry for 3-4 minutes. Add the lemon juice, chick peas and water. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Add the garam masala and add extra water as needed to keep the mixture at a gravy or stew consistency. Simmer, stirring, for 10-30 minutes, until the chick peas have softened slightly or you can't stand to wait any longer. Stir in the cilantro (reserving a tablespoon or two to use as garnish) and serve over basmati or jasmine rice.

Serves six as an entree or 8-10 as a side dish. Goes great with Cooks Illustrated's tandoori-style chicken.

6 thoughts on “Winner, Winner, Chickpea Dinner”

  1. I strongly endorse that tandoori chicken recipe as well. I don't bother to fry the garlic and ginger, which simplifies prep.

  2. Also, I meant to mention re: your bean recipe. I didn't find the exact cheese you recommended, but Trader Joe's does have a Chili Feta that worked, I think, quite well.

    1. the cheese garnish is all a matter of personal preference anyway. The Mrs. prefers shredded cheddar; I like to use a crumbly mexican cheese; feta is a good alternative to the mexican cheeses. The Girl (veganist) uses some vegan cr@p she found at Whole Foods made of tapioca and assorted other stuff.

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