Pandemic Pantry: Curried Chickpeas and Potatoes

When you have a bunch of leftovers in your pantry, making a medley can be a great way to use them up. Spiced with ginger, garlic, and whatever curry powder or mix you happen to have on hand, this hearty recipe works well over a bed of brown rice.

Prep time depends on the consistency of your chickpeas. I tend to buy them dried, and leave them to soak overnight before cooking them up in a simmering pot of vegetable bouillon and bay leaves.

To make curried chickpeas and potatoes, you will need the following ingredients and equipment:

  • One cup dried chickpeas
  • One and a half pounds potatoes (680 grams)
  • 30 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • One yellow onion, finely chopped (150 grams)
  • Six ounces arugula (or spinach), chopped (170 grams)
  • Three Tablespoons olive oil, sesame oil, or cooking oil (whichever you prefer)
  • 1 cube vegetable bouillon
  • One cup brown rice, cooked
  • Chèvre, for garnish (optional)
  • A large sauté pan
  • A saucepan
  • A wooden spoon

You’ll also need the following herbs and spices:

  • Two bay leaves
  • Two teaspoons fresh ginger, skinned and minced
  • Two shallots, finely chopped
  • Three cloves garlic, minced
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • Three Tablespoons of your favorite spicy curry powder or paste OR:
  • 1 Tablespoon ground mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 Tablespoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Coriander, to taste
  • Fenugreek, to taste
  • Cardamom, to taste
  • Cloves, to taste

Procedure:

Soak the chickpeas overnight in a bowl of water. By the morning, they should have doubled in size.

Drain the water, rinse the chickpeas, and transfer them to a saucepan. Cover the chickpeas with fresh water, and add the bouillon cube and the bay leaves. Bring the chickpeas to a boil, then reduce heat to a very low simmer.

Cook the chickpeas until they are soft. Cooking time should be about two hours, but budget time for more simmering just in case. Once the chickpeas have cooked, drain them, reserving the liquid, and set aside. Remove and discard the bay leaves.

Pierce the potatoes with a fork and bake them in an oven or toaster oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit/200 degrees Celsius until cooked through and soft, about 35-45 minutes. Allow the potatoes to cool, then remove their skins and chop into bite-sized chunks. Set aside.

While the potatoes are cooking, warm the oil in the sauté pan on medium heat. When the oil is at temperature, add the ginger and garlic. Stirring regularly, sauté until the garlic is translucent and the ginger is starting to stick to the pan.

Add the shallots and chopped onion, and cook until the garlic and ginger have started to caramelize and the onions and shallots are soft and translucent.

Add the tomatoes, and reduce heat to low. Add the curry powder and stir the tomatoes thoroughly to incorporate the spices, garlic and onion. Add the chickpeas and potatoes, stir again, and let the mixture cook for 15-20 minutes at a very low simmer. If the sauce gets too thick, gradually add the bouillon from the chickpeas until the consistency is as desired.

Add the arugula and cook for another five minutes.

Serve on a bed of brown rice. Garnish with goat cheese, if desired.

Cooking Notes:

This recipe makes six servings; in my household of two, I usually serve two portions on a bed of fresh-cooked brown rice the night I make it. Then I refrigerate the rest and have it later in the week, with fresh rice.

If you’re short on time, you can substitute canned chickpeas and precooked potatoes. You can also cook the chickpeas and bake the potatoes the day before, and refrigerate them overnight. Add 10-15 minutes to your cook time if you use cooled ingredients.

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