I believe I stopped eating ‘meat’ the summer of my 16th year. Ironically, that’s when I started exercising seriously, cooking and had my first real boyfriend. A lot happened over that summer. The boyfriend only lasted til the weather turned but my passion for health has lasted decades. Okay, the cooking part didn’t last long, either, but I did come back to it a few years ago.
It wouldn’t be fair to say that I was a vegetarian in the true sense. I decided to embrace the plight of the cow, pig and turkey but not the chicken and, most assuredly, not the salmon. I also didn’t stop drinking milk until seven years ago and I’ve never stopped eating cheese though I eat far less than I used to and try to eat sheep or goat predominately. Frankly my reason for all of this was animal cruelty not health. It’s deplorable the conditions these animals live in but as a society we’re considerably more educated about that and are demanding healthier conditions if for no other reason than we understand how we are the byproduct of the way our ‘food’ is raised.
None of this is to say that I am a dainty eater. When I’m hungry, I want FOOD. My family is fond of saying that I exercise to eat. This Spicy Chickpeas recipe is a great example. I started making it about five years ago when my friend gave me a new vegetarian cookbook. It’s dubbed as a side dish but I decided it’d make a wonderful burrito stuffing…and I’m talking 14” Don Pancho Whole Wheat Wraps. Hey, I told you I’m a bit of a contradiction.
Wine pairing: Sauvignon Blanc is the winner. It’s become well known for pairing with Thai food, in particular, due to the many spices. Ergo, great pairing for an Indian dish like Spicy Chickpeas. Make sure you’re buying a quality Sauvignon Blanc. New Zealand comes to mind but California has been concentrating on more quality Sauvignon Blancs in recent years.
Spicy Chickpeas (Burrito)
1 ¼ C (dried chickpeas) *I use 15.5 oz canned garbanzos, drained
2 oz tamarind pulp *I’ve never had this available so have never used it
½ C boiling water *not necessary if using canned garbanzos
3 Tbsp corn oil *I use olive oil
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1” piece of fresh ginger root, peeled & grated *I usually use 1 tsp ground ginger
1 fresh green chile, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp salt
8 oz tomatoes, peeled & finely chopped
½ tsp garam masala
Chopped fresh chiles & chopped onion, to garnish
1. Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with plenty of cold water. Let soak overnight. 2. Drain the chickpeas and place in a large saucepan with double the volume of cold water. Bring to a boil and boil vigorously for 10 minutes. Skim off any scum. Cover and simmer for 1 ½-2 hours, or until the chickpeas are soft. 3. Meanwhile, break up the tamarind and soak in the boiling water for about 15 minutes. Rub the tamarind through a sieve into a bowl, discarding any seeds and fiber. 4. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the cumin seeds for 2 minutes, until they splutter. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and chile and sauté for 5 minutes. 5. Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric and salt and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and tamarind pulp. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. 6. Add the chickpeas and garam masala. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes. Garnish with chopped chiles and onion. Serves 4
**I use canned chickpeas, drained, so I start this recipe straight at Step 4. I also add shredded red cabbage sometimes and this is ALWAYS used as a burrito filling in our house so we’ll add avocados, lettuce and olives.
Taken from Linda Fraser’s “Vegetarian the best-ever recipe collection”