Chickpeas with Spicy Tomato Sauce

I would like to apologize for the gap between my last post and what follows this explanation; I have recently begun a full-time job that is extremely welcome and enjoyable but has left me slightly piqued in terms of both culinary and written creativity. I know that I will regain my footing energy-wise and establish a working schedule but at the moment I’m playing a rather difficult game of catch-up with sleep and routine. Nonetheless, if you are a vegetarian or vegan, looking to save some money on groceries, a lover of Indian food, or completely enamoured with a high level of heat in your food then I would absolutely recommend the following recipe. This is one of those recipes that make having a well-stocked pantry worth it; chances are a visit to the grocery store won’t be needed and if it is needed then you will be pleasantly surprised at the extremely low cost of the ingredients involved. If you are up to soaking your own garbanzos then feel free to do it the old-fashioned way; unless I’m making hummus I find that canned chickpeas are a perfectly satisfactory substitution for dried (with hummus I can really appreciate that deep yet enigmatic flavour that defines dried legumes), not one to normally give credence to a specific brand I will say that Whole Foods’ 365 brand of canned chickpeas has always met if not exceeded my expectations for this particular type of product. Coriander imparts a lemony flavour that manages to solidify the already strong marriage between the jalapeño pepper, garlic, and fresh ginger while the yogurt creates a demure taste that gratifyingly muffles the sinus-clearing properties of the aforementioned spice paste. This is really delicious after a long walk in the rain and also makes a very convenient bagged lunch item; make it ahead and reheat in any situation that involves the desire for heat.

chickpeas with a spicy tomato sauce:

2 15 oz. cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 jalapeño pepper, chopped into 8 pieces (or 2,-3 if you’re eating by yourself and love really hot food)

6 cloves of garlic, smashed with the side of a heavy knife and cut in half

1 3 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into smallish pieces

1 Tbsp. of canola oil

1 large onion, minced finely

2 Tbsp. ground cumin

2 Tbsp. ground coriander

1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes with their juices

1 Tbsp. of sugar

1/4 tsp. red chili flakes

Kosher salt, to taste

Plain yogurt, enough for a good heaping dollop per serving

Fresh cilantro, loosely snipped with scissors for garnish and heat relief

1. Place the jalapeño pepper, garlic, and ginger pieces in a blender or food processor with 1/3 of a cup of water and blitz until smooth (a food processor will produce a chunkier paste.) If by any chance you are experiencing a sinus infection of any type now is the time to stick your face up close to that perfect spring green coloured mixture; I can guarantee you will feel like a million dollars after an inhalation of psychotically warm fumes.

2. Heat the oil over medium heat for a few minutes before adding your aromatics paste. Stir occasionally and cook for two minutes, at which point add the chopped onions and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the coriander, cumin , and red chili flakes and continue to cook about 3 more minutes or until the onions are soft.

3. Add the canned tomatoes with their juices, the chickpeas, and the sugar. Cook these ingredients over medium heat for about 15 minutes. If at any time the tomato sauce begins to look too dry begin adding water in 1/3 cup increments (if you have prepared vegetable stock this is  a good place to use it.) Season with salt to taste. Once the ingredients have thickened serve hot with a dollop of yogurt and the chopped cilantro.

There’s something very Kate Pierson about YACHT singer Claire L. Evans’ voice; this band is like the postmodern version of The B52s – less tongue-in-cheek and slightly jaded. Regardless, this is a surprisingly awesome party band. I have to confess, the night I made this I really just wanted to eat a frozen pizza, the next day I was flying to an extremely North Eastern part of BC for a three day work training trip (it wasn’t the trip itself, I am absolutely terrified of flying.) Luckily, my lovely boyfriend let me borrow his entire- Season-5-of-Seinfeld loaded iPad so I could have something to literally LOL at on the plane. Anyway, when I didn’t feel like cooking or going to the grocery store I put on YACHT and completely woke me up, because just like the B-52s it is impossible not to dance when you’re listening to it.

YACHT – The Afterlife

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