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Chick Peas Marathon
Chick Peas in India
Students studying to be chefs at the Red River Community College in Winnipeg Canada, are also taught how to prepare some Indian recipes.
They sell what they have prepared in The Culinary Exchange, a food court popular with office workers and bankers. it is the ideal place for Indian vegetarian and meat dishes. Their chick peas dishes are out of this world.
I'm a student of chick peas because it was not part of my growing up. I grew up eating beans and maize. Indian immigrants in Africa introduced chick peas and they are now common in urban cuisine.
I also found chick peas in Indian cinema, which i used to watch a lot in Africa. From the little that i know, they seem to be very popular in India and you can find tempting recipes in Indian cookbooks or blogs.
Food in Foreign Countries
There is no point in travelling if you do not want to learn because you think your country is the best. I have entered other people’s cultures through food because I am always hungry.
This reminds me of Shirley Valentine, a British movie. There is a scene where British tourists were being obnoxious in a Greek restaurant. Waiters tried to explain food items on the menu and they rudely dismissed it.
One family asked for fish and chips. It is fiction but we tend to associate other people’s food with diarrhea, food poisoning and other ills. I would never have found chick peas with that attitude.
Although it is quite popular in protein conscious North America, I understand it is one of the staple foods in the Middle East, Turkey and North Africa. Apparently, you can buy roasted chick peas from street vendors.
Hummus. I had to call a friend to find out what humus is because I did not have that in my corner of Africa. She told me it was chick peas. I started buying it with my other pulses, beans and lentils.
I heard later that chick peas are also called Garbanzo beans. I wondered who Garbanzo was. I tried to find him but research has not come up with a satisfactory answer. That will not stop me from enjoying this crunchy food.
I will never be an expert. I have never even made hummus bi tahini (made with sesame paste tahini) or falafel, but I’m love with chick peas.
Pre-Cooked Beans in Fridge
I should not say chick peas are crunchy because I sometimes overcook them. That is not a good idea though because the white skin comes out and points fingers at me. I therefore avoid leaving it too long on the stove.
I do not know how they prepare chick peas in India, Turkey and the Middle East, but I let my imagination run wild. I have never tried tinned chick peas mainly because of my mother, who was suspicious of canned food.
Anyway, I prefer cooking chick peas, starting with soaking them overnight or the whole day. I keep the cooked beans in a Pyrex glass container in the fridge.
Chick Peas for Breakfast?
I created this recipe accidentally. One day, I came back from the farmers’ market with a bag full of fresh tomatoes. I chopped some while eating them. I added the chick peas in the fridge. I put a little drop of vinegar and mixed everything.
I toasted rye bread and placed the tomato and chick peas mix on it. The tomato juice made the toast nice and wet and ready for a bite. There! Breakfast does not have to be peanut butter and jelly all the time.
I use chick peas to stretch meals, give them more air miles or plate miles if you will. Money is always tight and a chicken curry might not be enough for the family. Throwing in the beans makes the meal bigger and everyone is guaranteed a source of protein.
In this case, I added chick peas beans to a beef stew.
Picnic or Computer Snack
Summer means outdoor sports, living and picnics. The barbeque is associated with grilled meat, chicken or fish. Family and friends go to great lengths to make sure that there is enough meat for the grill. Most of the time, snacks are limited to potato chips and what you can grab from the store.
The Pyrex dish with the cooked chick peas comes in handy for snacks. All you have to do is to cook sweet potatoes for ten minutes. I want the pinkish colour intact because leaving them on the stove longer makes them dark brown.
You can serve this snack at the barbeque, while waiting for the meat. Vegetarians in the family will also appreciate it.
Main Vegetarian Dish
People who want go vegetarian are sometimes hesitant about the whole thing. Are there enough recipes? Will I be hungry all the time?
Garbanzo beans are quite filling and you will be surprised at the recipes you will come up with. I boiled a sweet potato and chopped it into small pieces, and cooked it in olive oil with some onion and tomato. I added the cooked beans and served it with wild rice.
If you love meat eat it with roast chicken or a pot roast.
You can use fresh green beans or frozen ones for this light lunch. Slice them into small pieces. Cook 2 small garlic cloves in olive oil until light brown. Remove from pot and add chopped onions, tomatoes, and the green beans.
Salt lightly and cook for ten minutes. Add half a cup of water and throw in diced potatoes. Cook in medium heat for another ten minutes. Use a fork to test potatoes. Add cooked chick peas and cook for five minutes. Switch off heat but leave pot on the stove.