Oh the humble chickpea; so unassuming, nutritious, and versatile: finding its way into a myriad of dishes, both vegetarian and non, all around the world. Like my last post on cilantro, I hadn’t realized just how many of my favourite recipes include chickpeas! The beauty of these tasty legumes is that they are packed with protein and make an awesome substitute for meat. After eating a meal based on chickpeas, the carnivore hardly even notices that there was no meat in the meal! I was at a retirement party for one of my colleagues last June and the caterer made a dish similar to this one for all of the vegetarians I work with. I loved it so much, I skipped the meat dish and had seconds of this one. Then I went home and tried to recreate it: This recipe is what I came up with. My husband (taste tester) says it is the best curried chickpea dish he has ever eaten! (Maybe he’s a bit biased??) So while the dish is unpretentious, the flavours are complex and comforting and served over a bed of fluffy white basmati rice, it makes a very substantial meal. I would suggest putting it in the fridge overnight to allow all of the flavours to marry. It just tastes much better on the second day!
A note about curry powders: As I mentioned in my post
“Curried Broccoli Salad with Red Grapes and Almonds”, the kind of curry powder you use will greatly change the flavour of the dish and it is always best to make your own curry powder by grinding fresh spices. If that isn’t possible, make sure your curry powder is fresh, as it loses flavour and intensity the more time it spends languishing in your spice rack.
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 ½ large white or yellow onions, diced
1 sweet red pepper, diced
5 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, diced
2 tablespoons curry powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 large yam, diced
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 – 19 ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can coconut milk
½ teaspoon chili garlic sauce
2 teaspoons salt
1 bunch fresh cilantro
juice of one lime
¼ cup mango chutney
In a medium dutch oven, melt the coconut oil. Add the onions, sweet red pepper and 1 teaspoon salt and sauté over medium heat until the vegetables are soft.
Add the ginger, garlic and jalapeño and sauté 2 or 3 minutes until the mixture becomes fragrant.
Add the curry powder and turmeric and sauté until fragrant.
Add stock, yams, coconut milk and chili garlic sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 30 to 40 minutes until the mixture has thickened.
Add remaining salt, ½ the cilantro, lime juice and chutney and simmer for 10 minutes.
Serve over Basmati rice and garnish with extra cilantro and shredded coconut.