Chick peas with chilli, lime, tamarind and coriander

Chick peas with chilli, lime, tamarind and coriander

By
From
A Year In My Kitchen
Serves
4-6

This chickpea dish is one of my favourite comfort foods and I have been making it on a regular basis ever since I tasted something similar many years ago. If I am honest, when feeling indulgent, I like it best with steamed basmati rice, liberally seasoned with sea salt and a generous dollop of ghee! It would also work well as a side dish with slow-cooked lamb that is meltingly falling apart.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
25g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 red onions, peeled and finely sliced
generous bunch coriander
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
2.5cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon see method for ingredients
1 tablespoon tamarind water, (see note)
4 carrots, peeled and chopped into chunky pieces
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
2 cinnamon sticks
400g cooked or canned chick peas, drained and rinsed
100ml maple syrup
100ml tamari
2-3 limes, juiced, to taste

Method

  1. Melt half of the butter in a medium heavy-based saucepan over a gentle heat and heat until foaming. Pour in the olive oil, stir, then add the onions. Sweat gently for 5 minutes until translucent. Meanwhile, wash the coriander, separate the leaves and set aside; finely chop the root and stems – you need 2 tbsp.
  2. Add the garlic, chilli, ginger, coriander roots and stems, spice mix and tamarind water. Stir for a minute or so, then add the carrots, tomatoes and cinnamon. Stir well to combine all the ingredients. Put the lid on, turn the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. By this stage the tomatoes will have broken down into the sauce, the carrots should be almost tender and the flavours really comfortable with each other.
  3. Add the cooked chick peas, maple syrup and tamari and cook for a further 10 minutes or so. Add the remaining butter and lime juice and stir well to combine.
  4. Now it’s time to taste. You are looking for a really deep, smooth, spicy, sour, salty and sweet flavour – one that is totally satisfying. If you haven’t achieved this, play around a little, pausing to think what might complete the flavour... perhaps a touch more tamari or maple syrup. Finish by stirring a generous handful of coriander leaves through.

Note

  • Tamarind lends a distinctive sour taste, helping to balance out the sweet, salty and hot flavours so often found in Asian cooking. I buy the whole pod, keep it in a sealed container in the fridge and break off little pieces as I need them. To use, the pieces are soaked in hot water to cover for 20 minutes. The water takes on the tamarind flavour and it is this that you use once it has been strained. Press the tamarind pulp in your strainer to extract as much flavour as possible.
Tags:
seasonal
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