Friday, April 22, 2011

Chickpea Curry

Something a little 'earthy' in honor of Earth Day. I love chickpeas. Almost as much as I love the earth. And the flag. They are incredibly versatile as well as a great source of protein.

This is a simple dish you can probably throw together without going to the store. If your vegan kitchen is well stocked.

I received a great comment a while back about the sodium level in organic chickpeas vs. non-organic. There was concern that organic chickpeas have more sodium than non-organic reduced sodium. It just so happened that I had a can of organic and non-organic chickpeas in our pantry so I thought I'd check it out.

The non-organic can I had was the last of some I had bought at Costco a while back. It wasn't a reduced sodium can and it had an incredible 460mg of sodium! The organic brand, good old F.G. Meyer Private Selection had 120mg of sodium. My non-organic wasn't reduced sodium so I'm not sure if that version would have less than 120mg...

So you can rest assured that organic has less sodium, for sure. Also, if it's a major concern, you can cook your own chickpeas. I actually love doing this. I think they have better flavor and texture. Yes, it takes a little more planning ahead, but it's worth it.

I do always keep a few cans hanging around for nights like this when I went for an evening run instead of starting dinner. Oops!

Oh, and today is the last day to vote La Pure Mama for 'special interest blog' in Saveur's Best of Blogs contest... you can vote here and hey, thank you for reading... and voting! xoxo
1 batch brown rice (cook it this way... because it's simple and fool proof and Alton Brown rocks.)
4 cloves garlic, diced fine
1 red onion, chopped
5 small stalks celery, chopped
4 small carrots, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
2 Tablespoons curry
1 cup vegetable broth
1 dried de arbo chile, or another medium heat chile)
2 cans organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or you can soak & cook them yourself ahead of time)
1 bunch purple kale, de-stemmed and cut into bite size pieces
3/4 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 can coconut milk
Sea salt
Fresh cracked pepper
3-4 green onions, chopped

Get your brown rice in the oven. I love Alton Brown's brown rice technique. Not only does it always come out perfect, it's total 'hands off' cooking, which is great when you have other parts of the meal to tend to.

In a fairly large pot, (I use my cast iron Mario Batali pan) heat a bit of vegtable oil on med/high. Add garlic, and onions; let cook for 1-2 minutes then add celery and carrots. Stir and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Add cumin, coriander, turmeric, curry and pepper. Stir to combine then add vegetable broth and reduce heat to low.

Add the chile and chickpeas, stir, then add kale and tomatoes. Stir again and let cook for about 8-10 minutes, checking and stirring intermittenly.

After about 8-10 minutes, add coconut milk; stir to incorporate then let cook another 5 minutes or so. Give your curry a taste then add sea salt and more pepper, if needed.

Continue to cook until brown rice is done, ensuring curry stays on low. You can cover it if you like; just be sure to stir occassionally.

In a bowl or on a plate, start with about 1/2 to 3/4 cup brown rice. On top of that add curry mixture. I roughly separated the kale then added a bit to the 'side' of the dish to ensure equal portioning.

Top with a sprinkle of green onions and you are ready. I offered sriracha sauce on the side, because we like it spicy.

Simple. Slightly spicy. Flavorful. Fun to eat. Fantastic.


Chickpeas on FoodistaChickpeas

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