Happy December first! I hope all my American readers have survived Thanksgiving and black Friday with full bellies and empty wallets. No matter where you are, I hope you are all out enjoying the crisp air outside or are at least tucked away inside cozy and warm. The dogs and I were out for a good 7 km hike this afternoon and I came in craving warm ginger molasses cookies and stew; I think Winter is coming.
With the weather is slowly getting cooler, we have had a few days of mild flurries that have melted before collecting into any discernible snowfall. The holidays are fast approaching and I don’t have anything decorated, or any presents bought, and as always, minimal holiday cheer. What I can get down for right this minute is easy-peasy recipes that produce comforting, delicious and spicy meals I can eat all week for lunches.
This first recipe I published on V-Spot was a quick and easy recipe for channa masala using canned chickpeas and a skillet. I love healthy one-pot recipes you can make up in a few minutes and I always wanted to revisit that recipe that started this blog. This time I’ve really improved on an old favorite, making it lazy weekend friendly this time it with a slow-cooker.
- 2 cups dried organic chickpeas, washed, sorted and topped with 3 inches of water left in the fridge to soak overnight
- 2 tbs of olive oil
- 1 stalk of celery, trimmed and diced
- 1 small red/orange pepper, diced
- 1 large onion, peeled trimmed and diced
- 6 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 inch piece if ginger, peeled and grated
- 1/4 tsp-1/2 tsp of chili flakes
- 1 tsp cumin seeds toasted before veggies or 1 tsp ground while sauteing
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- 1 heaping tbs of PC Tandoori spice; it’s a mild one made mainly of paprika, coriander, ginger, onion and garlic powder and a pinch of cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
- 1/2 a 5.5oz/75ml can of tomato paste
- 1-2 tbs Patak’s Hot Curry paste
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups of water (1 cup is added to the pan before adding to the crock-pot)
The night before rinse and pick through 2 cups of dried organic chickpeas. Place in a large bowl and cover with about 3 inches of cool water. Store in the fridge overnight. The chickpeas should double in size.
When you are ready to cook in the next day, drain the chickpeas and pour into the ceramic portion of the crock-pot.
Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high. If you are using cumin seeds, add them when the pan comes to temperature and toast until they start to pop. If you are using ground cumin skip this step and add onions and celery to cook for about 3-4 minutes.
Add diced red/orange pepper, chili flakes, cumin and garlic salt, tandoori spice mix and cinnamon and saute for another 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, stirring continuously for an additional minute.
Lower the heat to medium and stir in 1/2 can of organic tomato paste and curry paste and stir well. Make sure everything is well combined the tomato paste will start to stick to the bottom of pan but continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Once all the vegetables are tender and everything is well incorporated taste for seasoning. Adjust with salt and pepper, remember it should be pretty concentrated as you are using it as your flavour base for the chickpeas.
Scrape as much as you can into the crock-pot with the chickpeas. Return the skillet to the burner and add 1 cup of cool water to get the remaining bits from the pan. Pour the seasoned water into the crock pot with the spice paste and chickpeas and stir until everything is incorporated. Add two more cups of water to the crock pot, cover and turn on high. Cook on high for about 3.5 hours until the chickpeas are tender-firm.