Posts Tagged ‘chickpea’

The fridge is in need of replenishment–post festivals.

This was only partially solved by a visit to Lautrec market this morning.

No fishmonger–obviously still in recovery from the New Year festivities.

They take New Year as seriously as the Scots here; so--seriously.

(We had a delivery of fire wood yesterday and Monsieur Reynaud [woodman] admitted he and his wife had returned home at 3am the previous morning.)

I came back from the market with a couple of leeks, two fennel bulbs and some eggs.

Eggs for lunch, but what to do for dinner?

A gratin? No–a curry.

It’s been a while and it would hit the spot!

Feeling lazy, I’ll peek on the web, I thought, looking for a good recipe….

First suggestion from Mr. Google:  Chickpea, leek and fennel curry from robin-ellis.net!!

This recipe appears in my new cookbook, Healthy Eating for Life, out 8th January–NEXT WEDNESDAY (my birthday!).

The recipe is inspired by Rose Elliot’s vegetarian cookbooks–on my shelf for ages and much thumbed!

First published in the 1970sher recipes have withstood the test of time–and the ingredients often fit with my way of eating.

for 4

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

1 small onion–chopped

1 clove of garlic–peeled & chopped

1/2  teaspoon of powdered cumin

1/2 teaspoon of powdered coriander

1/2 teaspoon each of garam masala ( an earlier post), turmeric, ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon cayenne/chili powder

1 teaspoon fresh root ginger–peeled & chopped (optional)

1 large jar of cooked chickpeas–drained (the precise quantity is not critical!)

fennel bulbs–outer leaves removed, quartered and chopped

1 large leek–damaged outer parts removed, cut down to the base, washed and sliced

2 tablespoons of parsley or coriander–chopped

1 pint of vegetable stock (I use organic cubes diluted with boiling water.)

  • Heat the oil in a pan.
  • Gently fry the cumin seeds until they start to pop.
  • Add the onion and garlic and soften–about 3 minutes.

  • Add the spices and mix them in.

  • Add the chickpeas.
  • Add the leeks and fennel and mix.

  • Add the stock–start with half a pint and adjust as needed.
  • Bring the mixture up to boil, then cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.

  • Fold in a tablespoon of parsley or coriander.
  • Sprinkle the second tablespoon of parsley or coriander over the dish when you serve it hot with…
  • Brown basmati rice and yogurt sauce.

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I’m keen to try simple meal-in-a-pot recipes that can be prepared in advance.

This is one inspired by a Nigel Slater recipe from an old newspaper clipping.

We found it hard not to finish it off last night–impossible in fact!


“Well it’s just one medium sweet potato, a single fennel bulb and some chickpeas.”

(I added smoked paprika and halved the amount of smoked bacon in the original.)

“Oh–go on then!”

So much for moderation.

For 2/3

1 onion–chopped

2 sticks of celery–chopped

2 tblsps olive oil

3 garlic cloves–pulped with a teaspoon of salt

1 tsp rosemary spears–chopped fine

2oz/50gms smoked bacon–cubed

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 medium sweet potato–peeled, sliced into thick rounds and these halved

1 fennel bulb–outer leaves removed and sliced thick on the vertical

1/2 pint stock–I use organic vegetable stock cubes

250gms cooked chickpeas

200ml coconut cream*

2 tblsps breadcrumbs

2 tblsps parmesan cheese–grated

  • set the oven to 190C/360F
  • Heat the oil in a medium size, shallow sauté pan.
  • Fry the onion and the celery for a couple of minutes over a medium heat–


  • then add the garlic, rosemary and bacon and paprika.


  • Stir these together and continue cooking and stirring as the vegetables begin to soften and the bacon colours–about ten minutes.
  • Turn the chickpeas into the pan and mix them in.


  • Add the sweet potato half-rounds and the fennel slices and mix them in.


  • Ease in the stock and the coconut cream.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring it to the boil and sprinkle over the parmesan and breadcrumb mixture.


  • Place in the middle of the oven for about thirty minutes.
  • From oven to plate and tuck in!


*The difference between coconut milk/cream and cream of coconut is fully explained here: 


It looks like milk, it is NOT sweetened and it does NOT taste of coconut!


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“Chickpea”–our friendly bantam–and I get re-acquainted.

He’s keen to know what his American cousins are up to.

“Are they early risers like me and Claude?” (our other cockerel).

“Didn’t see–or HEAR for that matter–too many cockerels in downtown Washington D.C., Chickpea.

Saw a raccoon heading for Dupont Circle at noon!”

“Aah–did you have a good time, though?”

“Dandy, thanks”.

Cock-a-doodle dandy“?

Very funny–Chickpea!

I’ll sing it if you like…?”

“Um–I have to go in and make lunch…”

“Good to have you back.”

“Thanks–good to be back, Chickpea.”

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We had simple salmon fillet for supper the evening that we returned from the clinic.

The next night I felt a little more adventurous, but in need of something easy and preferably from a single pot–a ladleful of taste over some basmati brown rice; comfort food that cooks itself.

I looked in the fridge and found a cauliflower in good condition, a leek and a bottle of chickpeas on the shelf in the larder and I knew there were a few small tomatoes left to gather at the end of the garden–perfect!

I love buying cauliflowers–their tight white heads look so tempting and beautiful.

However sometimes they stay in the fridge–not exactly forgotten, but requiring some thought.

What am I going to do with that cauliflower?!

Cosy cauliflower curry–why not?

Here goes…!

1 onion--chopped small

2 garlic cloves–chopped

2 tblsps olive oil

1 tsp black mustard seeds

1 tsp each of turmeric, cumin powder and ginger powder

1/2 tsp each of coriander powder, cayenne powder

8oz tomatoes–chopped roughly

1 pint/450 ml stock–I use organic vegetable stock cubes

1 cauliflower–separated into bite-size florets

1 leek–cleaned and sliced

3 tblsps cooked chickpeas (from a tin [a can] or bottle–you may not need the whole tin. Spoon out the required amount and drain off any liquid–but no need to rinse.)

salt and pepper

2 tblsps of whisked low/no fat yogurt or coconut cream (my new discovery; more on that in future posts)

  • Sweat the onion and garlic in the olive oil until they soften and begin to colour.

  • Add the mustard seeds and let them cook for a minute.

  • Add the rest of the spices and mix them in.

  • Add the tomatoes, stirring them into the spice mix and cook for five minutes to break them down a little and form a sauce.

  • Add half the stock and cook for a further 5 minutes–reducing it a little.

  • Mix in the sliced leeks and the broken up cauliflower–you may find you only need half the head–making sure the vegetables are immersed in the liquid.

  • Cover and cook on a low heat for 30 minutes–checking now and then in case it’s drying up–as it very nearly did for me!
  • (Add more stock as you need and cook on.)
  • Add the chickpeas and cook a further five minutes.

  • When the vegetables are tender, turn off the heat and let it cool down.
  • Fold in the yogurt or coconut cream.
  • Gently reheat to serve over some basmati brown rice.
  • There was a thumbs-up from Meredith as she helped herself to a spoonful more (see above)!

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Our friend Romaine arrives today and I know she likes houmous.

the ingredients

I do too–and this version has a bit of a kick to it.

ready to whizz...

There’s garlic, cumin and cayenne in this mix–with olive oil and lemon juice to loosen it.

whizzed and ready to spread!

8 oz cooked chickpeas–I prefer the kind in jars

3 cloves of garlic–peeled and chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons tahini

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

2 tablespoons olive oil

juice of 2 lemons

Put all the ingredients except the lemon in a food mixer and whizz smooth.

Add half the lemon juice  and taste.

Add the rest of the lemon juice as you like.

I just made it with all the juice of 2 lemons and it tastes right –it depends on the size and juiciness of the lemons.

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