Cookery: Not just in hummus

28 October 2009

by Deanna Baynes

CHICKPEAS are inexpensive and very nourishing. In Britain, most of us associate chickpeas with hummus.

Mango and chickpea curry
5 large tablespoons of butter
2 large red onions, diced
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2.5cm (1 in.) ginger, grated
2 curry leaves
1 dessertspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
half teaspoon ground cinnamon
half teaspoon ground cardamom
1 level teaspoon ground turmeric
sprinkle of black pepper
450g (1lb) butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 large beef tomatoes, skins off and chopped
1 cup of chickpea stock
400g (14 oz) cooked chickpeas
2 large firm, ripe mangoes, peeled and cubed
250ml (8 fl. oz) coconut milk
125ml (4 fl. oz) yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt to taste

Soak the chickpeas overnight, then boil them for two hours until soft. Melt the butter in a wok, add the onion, garlic, ginger, and curry leaves, and sauté until the onion is trans­lucent. Add the mustard seeds, and when they crackle add the re­main­ing spices, the butternut squash, and tomatoes, and cook until the squash is soft. Add the stock and chickpeas. Bring this to the boil, and simmer for five minutes. Now add the mangoes and coconut milk, and pour in the yogurt and lemon juice. Cover and cook for a further ten minutes.

Chickpea, date, and pine-nut pilau

150g (5 oz) green lentils, soaked in water overnight
2 dessertspoons coriander seeds
2.5cm (1 in.) cinnamon stick
6 cloves
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
3 tablespoon olive oil
60g (2 oz) butter
1 large red onion, diced
4 medium carrots, finely diced
60g (2 oz) pine nuts
30g (1 oz) sunflower seeds
60g (2 oz) raisins
90g (3 oz) dates, chopped up
300g (10 oz) risotto rice
150ml (5 fl. oz) chickpea stock
3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh mint leaves, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper, milled

Soak and cook the chickpeas as in the curry recipe, reserving the stock. Cook the lentils in some of stock for half an hour, and drain. Dry-roast the coriander seeds, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom in a wok until aromatic, then grind them.

Re-use the wok and cook the onions and carrots in the olive oil and butter. Put in the pine nuts, sunflower seeds, raisins, and dates, and fry until the nuts are golden. Stir in the ground spices and lentils, cook for two minutes, then remove from the heat. Put this into a container.

Dry your wok, and, with a teaspoon of olive oil, brown the rice. Pour in more stock, and simmer until tender and the stock reduces. Put everything into the wok, and cook until the stock disappears. Finally, mix in the parsley and mint.

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