Whenever I am at a loss as to what to cook, I soak up some lentils or legume, pressure cook them and then add some spices and voila – a healthy vegetarian dish for the family is ready within minutes. I almost never use the canned version of legumes. With a bit of planning, I soak them in the morning before I leave to work, and back in the evening I give them a quick boil in the pressure cooker or vessel and freeze whatever is left for next time when my planning is not so good or I forget to soak them in the morning.
Chickpeas can be very versatile – I use them in soups to thicken it, in vegetables to increase the quantity or then on their own to make savory snacks or meals like the one below. When I have guests who like Indian flavors, I make the dish below and garnish some raw onions, tomatoes and boiled potatoes and a dash of lemon juice to add some fresh flavors and colors to the dish. Here I simply garnished with coriander and a bit of mint for my taste.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes + overnight soaking
1 cup chick peas
1 large red tomato
1 green chili
1” piece ginger
5 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
3 tablespoons coriander leaves
A pinch of sugar
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon corn oil
- Wash and soak the chick peas overnight in water. Pressure cook for 15 minutes in 2 cups of water.
- Wash and grind the onions, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, green chili and 2 tablespoons coriander leaves to a paste.
- Heat oil in a vessel and when hot, add the bay leaves.
- Now add the ground paste and fry for 5 minutes.
- Now add the chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, salt and sugar. Also add the coriander powder and mix well.
- Stir for a couple of minutes more and add the chick peas along with the water. Cover and cook on low for 15 minutes.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.