This is another staple dish in my home and I make it several times a month. It’s packed with protein, nutrients and tons of flavor. It’s also incredibly easy to prepare: it takes no more than 10 minutes of prep, and 30-40 minutes for the spices to mingle with the stewing chickpeas and tomatoes for the perfect blend of flavors.
Makes about 6 servings
- 2 cans (15 oz) chickpeas
- 2 cans (15 oz) diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1+ teaspoon each: cinnamon, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper, salt, cloves
- 1/4 cup cilantro – chopped
- 2 cups uncooked brown rice
Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet and cook the onions until translucent (about 4 minutes). Meanwhile, mince the garlic and ginger and set aside.
When making something like a curry with lots of spices, one of the best ways to infuse the dish with flavor is to spice the onions by themselves, and then add the other ingredients. We’re going to do that now. Take 1 teaspoon of each spice (cinnamon, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper, salt, cloves) and add directly into the cooking onions. Stir until well incorporated.
Let the spices infuse into the onions for about 2 minutes, then add the garlic, ginger, and two cans of drained chickpeas and let simmer for 3 more minutes.
Now is a good time to start the rice. Add about 2 cups brown rice and 4 cups water to a pot and bring to a boil. Then, turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. It should magically be ready around the same time as the curry.
After the chickpeas and onions have absorbed the flavors of the spices, add in the two cans of tomatoes and stir everything together. This should all cook together for about 30 minutes until the tomatoes start to break down and it resembles something like a stew. About half way through, use your tastebuds to determine if you need more spices. I usually add about another half-teaspoon of each (except the salt) at this point.
TIP: If the consistency is too runny for your liking, you can mash a few chickpeas. Chickpeas are very starchy and if you break open a few, they’ll absorb some of the liquid and thicken your curry.
Notice the transition over 30 minutes of cooking. The tomatoes break down and everything blends together. The longer it simmers, the better!
Step Five: Cilantro!
The cilantro gets its own step because I don’t want you to forget it. One time I forgot the cilantro and it dramatically changed the flavor of this dish (for the worse!). You don’t need much to make an impact, so stir in a handful of chopped cilantro and simmer for one minute. Remove from the heat and spoon over the top of your perfectly fluffy brown rice.
NOTE: Unless you plan on inviting the whole neighborhood, this is too much food for one meal. I typically make about 6 servings by design: this dish makes excellent leftovers. Like with many foods, I find the leftovers on the second or third day to be even better. Alternatively, you can easily halve the recipe.
Of course, this must be paired with The Perfect Chai Latte I posted a few days ago 🙂