The joy of Chickpeas

Nov 23rd, 2015

The joy of Chickpeas

500g of dried chick peas is £1 in ADSA (in fact you can get 2kg for £2.50 but let’s not run before we can walk). The other night I was thinking of what to make for a special meal for myself (there is something very sad about that, but if I left it to R it would be frozen pizza), and decided on Moroccan. Looking at the bag of chick peas I thought I would process them all at once to have stuff left over for the freezer; the one drawback to dried pulses is that you need to be a bit organized and start them off the night before.

So I put the whole bag into a big bowl of cold water and soaked over night. The next morning I boiled them hard for 10 minutes and then simmered for about an hour until they were very soft. Then I made:-
Humus – take about 200g chickpeas and about 100g light tahini, 2 peeled garlic cloves, the juice of one lemon and a little olive oil. Put in a food processor and whizz until smoothish. If needed add a bit of the cooking water from the peas to loosen it a little. This freezes well.
Vegetarian Tagine – Fry a large onion and a large pepper in olive oil until soft. Peel and cube a small butternut squash, add to the pan and fry for a minute or two. Add as many chick peas as you like, and then one can of chopped tomatoes and (my secret ingredient) one can of ready made ratatouille (this is super good as a store cupboard staple and goes down particularly well in a vegetarian lasagna). Stir in one finely chopped red chili (I like to add at this stage because frying it with the onions makes me cough), some cumin, a handful of chopped dried apricots and enough passata or tomato juice to make a stew consistency. Simmer for about half an hour until the squash is cooked.
Falafels – same basic mixture as for the humus, but without the lemon juice (so extra cooking water to moisten). Mix in a bowl with enough plain flour to make a dough and a handful of fresh coriander. Roll into smallish (or mediumish) patties and fry in a little olive oil.

The bag of chick peas with the addition of some cheapish veg, olives, couscous, flatbreads and yoghurt made enough tasty, healthy vegan (minus the yoghurt) food for about eight people.

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