Wednesday 12 November 2008


I can date my recent fascination with chickpea based dishes to this year's August bank holiday. It was the Sunday and it had been a hot day. Janet offered to cook dinner at her house so that we could sit out in the garden to eat. She cooked up a huge dish of spiced chickpeas with brown rice and kale.

The chickpeas stuck in my mind, they were delicious and relied on ingredients I would probably have in my cupboard plus a few things that can be picked up at any small local shop, or at any small local shop round here at least. After last week's tagine I decided to recreate something a little closer to Janet's dish and set about trying to find a recipe online.

I trailed through lots of variations that sounded promising but decided on one, printed it out, wrote my shopping list, bought my ingredients, and got home to find out that I had forgotten to pick up the recipe. I tried to replicate my google search but nope, it didn't work, so with the ingredients and a vague memory of quantities I set to work and I'm glad I did. I think this one will be added to the list of tasty, quick, and, very importantly, reliable after work meals.

Serves 2

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, grated, crushed, or very finely chopped
1 cm piece of fresh ginger, grated or very finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon of ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of sea salt
400g tin of tomatoes
400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
A small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 teaspoon of garam masala (but see below)

Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan or casserole dish. Add the chopped onion and leave to cook over a medium heat until browned. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli, turmeric, cumin, and coriander. Stir this into the onion and add a little more oil if it looks dry. Leave this to cook for a minute before adding the tomatoes with their juice and the salt. If the tomatoes are whole just crush them with your wooden spoon. Add the chickpeas and fill the empty tin with cold water and add this to the pan as well. Leave to simmer over a medium heat for about 15 minutes and then add the lemon juice and most of the coriander. At this point I had also intended to add a teaspoon of garam masala but forgot so I'll leave this up to you. I'll probably try it next time. Leave to cook for a further ten minutes, taste for seasoning and serve with basmati rice.


Cerebrum said...

Such a pretty picture, Gemma. And it sounds good, too - we need our reliable stand-by dishes!

Jeanne said...

Mmmm, looks like real comfort food! My husband would *love* this :)

Sam said...

Looks like a great dish to have in the repertoire. Bookmarked!

Anonymous said...

i love chickpeas, and it's nice to see them getting a bit more popular lately. we just did a dish ourselves of a fish soup in a light fumet with chickpeas and kale. your dish sounds flavorful and satisfying!

Gemma said...

Hi all, thanks for commenting.

Jak - that dish sounds delicious, I would love the recipe. I just looked at your site and am really impressed with what you are doing for charity.

Gemma x

Anonymous said...

What a great-looking dish! It sounds delicious! I have really enjoyed looking through your blog... so many wonderful recipes and beautiful photos :)

I would love to write about your chickpea and tomato curry on our blog! If you are interested send me an email at

Haley, KI Blogger

Anonymous said...

Cooked it tonight, was tasty, thanks for the recipe!