Thursday, July 10, 2008

Spicy Chick Peas and Spinach

The basis of this lovely quick and healthy mid week dish came from eatlikeagirl - another London food blogger who wins my admiration just for having such a fabulous name for her site. Randomly scrolling through some of her posts I came across this one and thought - hmmm, could be a good one. And it is!

I bought a jar of chickpeas from Brindisa on Saturday - they are the best ready cooked ones I've ever found, big fat creamy golden balls. Just look at the size of them!. I realised last night when I started to make this that I already had a jar in the cupboard from a few months ago so I took it out. The price sticker was still on it - £2.75. The jar I bought this week was £2.95. Even cheap is getting more expensive. With chickpeas - as all pulses - the best result will always come from buying the freshest dried beans you can find, soaking them for a few hours before cooking them. It's also the cheapest way. But sometimes that is just not going to happen. I find that, particularly with chick peas, buying ready cooked ones and rinsing them thoroughly makes a good second choice. That way this dish can be made in half an hour - and eaten in minutes!

Spicy Chick Peas and Spinach

2 tins of chickpeas or 1 large jar if you can buy posh ones!
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbspn vegetable oil
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 in root ginger, peeled and grated
1 stick celery, finely sliced
1 small onion finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
Juice of half a lemon
250g fresh spinach,washed and desalked
1/2 large bunch coriander, choppped

Dry fry the coriander and cumin seeds in a large heavy pan until they start to pop. Tip them into a bowl. Combine with the ground cumin and coriander and the turmeric, chilli, salt and garam masala.
Heat the oil in the same pan and when hot, fry the onion and celery until the onion is translucent, then add the spices, ginger, and garlic and fry for few more minutes. Add the tomato puree and stir through till hot.

Add the chickpeas along with half a cup of water and coat in the spices. When the chick peas are well coated and hot add the spinach and cover with a lid until the leaves have wilted.

Take the pan off the heat and stir in the chopped coriander and the lemon.
Serve topped with a drizzle of plain yoghurt.

This is a very lightly spiced dish - you could make it hotter or spicier but it has a pleasant mellowness spiced this way.


Anonymous said...

Hello! Delighted you like it. Those Brindisa chickpeas are *good*.


bron said...

Ta very much Niamh - I will enjoy checking your site again.


Beth said...

I absolutely loooove chickpeas! My favorite. Looks delish!

Bronwyn said...

Me too Beth - am thinking about making chickpea and pasta soup next week in fact...

Anonymous said...

Hi Bron,
thanks for dropping by my site. I love food and feel just as passionately about properly-reared animals and fresh produce as you do. BTW chick peas and spinach also work really well as a salad. You can even buy it ready made from Sundrica, a deli in Hammersmith near where I work. Mmmm tummy rumbling at the thought...