Curried Chickpeas

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Okay, admit it: You’re afraid to cook chickpeas from scratch. You think they need babysitting while they cook for hours and even then, there’s no guarantee you’ll get them right. Right? “Wrong!” says Anupy Singla, a former television and print news reporter, writer and author of the Indian Slow Cooker and Vegan Indian Cooking. With that trusty little plug-in icon of the ’70s–the crockpot–Anupy leads the way to chickpea perfection. Our own experiments with her recipe had the promised results. “Most people think you can only get good curried chickpeas at an Indian restaurant–they also think that it can only be made with canned chickpeas,” says Anupy. “But it’s just not so. Dried chickpeas are cheaper and healthier than their canned alternatives and cooking them in a slow cooker, it’s just plug and play. You start them in the crock pot in the morning and just leave them all day. When you come home, they’re ready.”

Anupy says families in Indian homes in her circles traditionally eat curried chickpeas about once a week. “It’s a dish you can keep homey by eating it plain, or, you can dress it up for a special occasion with chopped onion, tomatoes and chile peppers. And if you don’t make it too spicy, your kids will love it too.”

 

Makes 13 cups

Curried Chickpea Ingredients

  • 3 cups dried chickpeas, washed and picked over
  • 1 medium-sized yellow or red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1, 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced (or grated)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 4 to 6 Thai, serrano, or cayenne chiles, stems removed, chopped (Note: this ingredient is optional: include if you like very-spicy foods)
  • 1 Tbsp each cumin seeds, ground coriander, garam masala, chana masala, red chile powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 12 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp (or to taste) salt
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Thinly-sliced red onion, chopped tomato and lime wedges for garnish

Instructions

  1. Place chickpeas, onion, tomato, ginger, garlic, green chiles, cumin, coriander, garam masala, chana masala, red chile powder, turmeric and water in the slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high heat setting for 14 hours. Toward the end of cooking time, add salt (adjust to suit your taste) and mash some of the peas against the walls of the slow cooker to thicken. Add cilantro. Serve with rice and roti; garnish with onion, tomato and a lime wedge. (Add a dollop of plain yogurt if you like.)

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