Spicy Gingered Chickpeas and Unidentified Pakistani Spices

I have to tell you, I really haven't been in the mood to cook lately.

Well, that's not it exactly. Its more like I haven't wanted to go to the grocery store. Although I have a very nicely stocked pantry, between work, school, and sleep I just haven't had a lot of time to head to the store for those fresh essentials: onions, garlic, bananas, soy cream cheese... I've just been too busy to stop in for even a few minutes.

And sadly, when I do get a chance to pick up a few things, its the solo person's nightmare- throwing them away a week later when they go bad. Such a waste. But I decided to conservatively take a step away from living on cashew butter and jam sandwiches and make a meal that is 75% pantry essentials and just a few things from the store. That way, there's no chance of throwing a bunch of vegetables away when I neglect the kitchen for a busy week. Thankfully, the recipe turned out great! (I was really surprised, actually!) Just spicy enough and very filling. Perfect with some ginger beer. Give it a shot the next time you're too busy to shop.
Spicy Gingered Chickpeas
-2 Tbs Coconut Oil
-1 small onion diced
-2 cloves garlic, diced
-2 tbs ginger, grated and chopped
-1/4 tsp. turmeric
-1/8 tsp. cumin
-1 14 oz can chickpeas, drained
-1/2 can diced tomatoes with peppers
-1 T brown sugar
-pinch of salt

-Naan and mango chutney to dress it up (if you like)

1. In a small pot heat the coconut oil on med-low. Add the onions and cook until they start to caramelize, about 10 minutes.
2. Add the turmeric, cumin, garlic, ginger and a little salt and let cook for a few more minutes. (At this point you could also add more chili powder or cayenne pepper to up the heat level.)
3. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, and a cup of water. Raise the heat to medium until it reaches a boil, then reduce and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until sauce has thickened. Stir in brown sugar and cook a few minutes more. Season to taste and serve with naan and a dollop of chutney.

Note: This was enough for me and leftovers. Doubling the recipe would probably serve 4.

Now, as much as I love using ginger and the like, I've been trying to branch out in terms or what spices I use. Luckily, my Dad brought me back some new things to try from Pakistan. Unfortch, he didn't bother to buy things with labels or anything useful like that. So now I have all these spices, and have no idea what they are.
I'm pretty sure a few of these are some kind of fennel variation. Any idea about the rest? I'm particularly intrigued about the last one- little charcoal-black hard pieces of something. No idea. Maybe I will just start cooking with them and hope for the best!


Jennifer said...

I hate when my pantry is stocked and I'm not in the cooking mood.

Those chickpeas look fantastic though!

Neat spices!

springsandwells said...

whoa cool! Anonymous spices straight from Pakistan?! I think we'll need some serious macro shots to help identify. The black stuff looks neat.

Yummy chickpeas. mmmmm

Alice (in Veganland) said...

Love your spices! And with chickpeas, it can only work well, I think. It looks great!

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Anonymous said...

This looks so so good! Chickpeas rock !

Natastrophe said...

Can't tell from the photo, but does the black stuff look like sesame seeds?? It could be nigella/kalonji/onion seeds :)

Err... Sorry. I'm reading your blog backwards! Just found it on the net and got carried away with looking at all the delicious food!!