Chickpea Curry

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Years before I was a vegetarian, I used to make this dish with chicken. My mother in law, Shirley introduced the Chicken Curry dish to me all the way from her homeland of South Africa. Durban, at the southern end of Africa, by the Indian Ocean has a large population of Indians that were brought over as slaves for cotton picking. As a result, there is a large influence of Indian cookery in South African cuisine. In typical South African manner, the chicken curry is served with embellishments –  topped with sliced bananas and shredded coconut. It is simply sublime. Subsequently, since I became a vegetarian several years ago, I transformed this dish using chickpeas. The chickpeas are simmered in a fragrantly spiced tomato mixture, and kicked up with the South African toppings, thereby creating a melange of sweet, spicy, and crunchy.

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup dried chickpeas or 2 (15 ounce) cans of chickpeas
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 heaping teaspoon curry powder
2 tablespoons grated ginger
1 small chili (seeds removed)
1 onion, diced
½ teaspoon chili powder
4 cloves crushed garlic
2 tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoon mango chutney (or any of your choice)
Sliced Banana, for topping (optional)
Shredded Coconut, for topping (optional)

Directions

  1. Soak the dried chickpeas overnight in a large bowl with plenty of cold water. The following day, drain the water and rinse again. Place in a large saucepan, and cover the chickpeas with cold water, one inch above the chickpeas. Bring to boil and simmer, skimming off any foam, for about an hour, or until tender. Drain and rinse and skin the chickpeas, preferable but optional.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a medium sized skillet over a medium high flame, add mustard seed, turmeric, curry powder, ginger, chili and chili powder. Stir for 2 minutes.
  3. Then add onions and garlic, stirring to make sure onions don’t brown. Cook until the onions are translucent, about 7 minutes.
  4. Then add tomatoes, and cook until the tomatoes have liquified, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the cooked chickpeas and let it simmer, covered for 30 minutes over low heat. Once cooked, add mango chutney. When ready to serve, top with sliced banana and shredded coconut with a side of basmati rice.

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