curried chickpeas

Photo courtesy of Scott Teresi via Flickr. (His recipe is a little different than ours.  It adds tomatoes and cauliflower, both of which you are welcome to do as well!)

March always seems a month of bluster and storm, just before spring, when you crave food that is warming, fragrant and all in one pot. I made this recipe for some friends recently, and they loved it. If you have the ingredients on hand, it really does take only five minutes to put in the pot.

Don’t worry about using coconut; it’s not bad for you. Here, we’re using a full-fat canned coconut milk with no additives; full-fat so you get the beneficial, special medium-chain triglycerides (fats) that burn efficiently in the body and that are satisfying and energizing too. So here goes…

Serves 6-8 people     

1 can full-fat coconut milk 1 can or 2 C cooked chickpeas*
1 heaping TBSP curry powder of your choice 1 C sprouted dry mung beans
1½-2# protein such as scallops, tofu, diced chicken, etc. 1 package (10 oz) frozen peas 
1 bunch cilantro, chopped

Spoon out coconut milk into a large skillet. Add spice packet (this packet contains all the separate spices you’d ordinarily use like curry, garlic, lemon, salt and pepper, and more!) Add protein, chickpeas and sprouted mung beans. Stir. Turn on flame and simmer for five minutes. Add peas and simmer another 2 minutes. Of course you can add other veggies like spinach, broccoli florets or kale too. There’s enough sauce as is.

Turn off heat and stir in cilantro. Serve. This goes well over a grain to absorb the liquid, but I didn’t. We sipped the extra liquid right from the plate!

*I cook a big pot of chickpeas while I read the Sunday paper and then divvy them up into old glass jars that I save from things like peanut butter. I store the jars in the freezer so they’re there when I decide it’s chickpea time! Cooking your own beans costs less than buying them in cans. How to cook? Put uncooked beans in a big pot with a 2-inch piece of kombu (a seaweed that makes beans more digestible). Cover beans with water by 4 inches. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and cook covered on low for about two hours. No time to cook your own? Buy Eden beans – they’re the best (they also use kombu when they cook their beans).