Indian spices are the highlight of this otherwise earthy combination of cooked chickpeas and mushrooms, which is sparked by a generous amount of ginger. While I served it with chicken from our recent Sunday roast, it would be equally at home as a vegetarian meal with a salad or as the filling for a wrap, as the write-up recipe in At Home with Madhur Jaffrey suggests. Her recipes are always simple, and delicious.
When I want to cook chickpeas, I look for organic dried peas from a source with a high turnover. Older beans could take hours to cook and end up mealy. Though I do resort to the overnight soak when in doubt about the age of these beans, I more typically place them in a Dutch oven, covered with ample water, and then cook them, starting with a cold oven, at 250 degrees for an hour and a half or so. Obviously, the time will be adjusted based on the doneness of the beans. I check them after about 45 minutes and add salt once they’ve just started to soften. I almost always make an extra amount to freeze in pint containers, which end up being roughly equivalent to a 25-ounce can.
I generally followed Jaffrey’s recipe, but I diminished the amount of olive oil and added pan-roasted mushrooms at the end, in addition to the ones cooked in the sauce that surrounds the chickpeas. We had leftovers, and enjoyed the melding of the flavors with a couple of days’ rest.
Chickpeas with Mushrooms adapted from Madhur Jaffrey
2½ c cooked chickpeas with their liquid (1 pt homemade or a 25-oz can)
1 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
½ tsp whole cumin seeds
½ medium red onion, finely chopped
2 tsp finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1 large clove garlic, finely diced
15 medium cremini mushrooms, sliced (divided into two parts – 10 and 5)
2 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground turmeric
¼ – ½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 plum tomato, chopped
1½ c reserved chickpea liquid or water
½-1 tsp salt
Drain the chickpeas and reserve the liquid.
Warm the oil in a wide saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the whole cumin seed and when it starts to sizzle, add the onion. Cook, stirring, until the edges of the onion start to brown. Add the ginger and garlic and stir to cook a few minutes. Add 10 of the sliced mushrooms and cook until just starting to soften. Add the spices and stir to combine well, Add the tomato and ½ cup of the chickpea liquid or water. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.
Add the reserved chickpeas and another ¾ cup of chickpea liquid or water, or a combination. Cover and cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes, checking from time to time to see if additional liquid is needed, and giving the mixture a good stir. Season with salt to taste.
Meanwhile, place the remaining 10 mushrooms in a saute pan and sprinkle with oil. Cook over medium-hot heat until the mushrooms brown and start to lose their juices. Flip them to sear briefly on the other side. When the chickpea mixture is finished, add the pan-roasted mushrooms just before serving.