Saturday, October 18, 2008

VeganMoFo day 1: I love chickpeas

So here's our first blog's first blog entry, in celebration of VEGANMOFO , and inspired/encouraged by IsaChandra of the Post Punk Kitchen Blog (PPK), who said something like: "blog it, just do it, it's the vegan month of food".

My husband (who is actually writing this part) grew up vegan, but started eating the "M" word ( couldn't be like parents I guess ) and since discovering all the tasty ways to prepare this high protein ingredient (the chickpea) he has decided that he prefers this to "M" because he surfs and doesn't want to get sluggish and fat
Plus with all the unique spices and flavors it never seems to get stagnant.

OK, so here's to my favorite ingredient: the chickpea....

Yeah, keep your eyes open for chickpea flour, also named garbanzo bean flour, or besan in Indian stores. It is a most amazing thing. You can use it as a flour, but it's this bean, so plenty of protein energy right there for ya'. It's vegan wonder food!

I like it as a flour, like for making pancakes, or here the other day i found a recipe called vegetarian omelets, tomorrow I will let you know exactly where, and the picture looked so omelet like, and yeah they were made with chickpea flour. I did not have tomatoes, but added some raisins and a bit of red pepper paste for redness, YUMMM...... ( I found this recipe on Aayi's recipes: named vegetarian pancakes. So, one day tofu scramble, the next chickpea omelet, yeah....

My favorite chickpea recipe might just be Dokhlas....I remember them in India , where they were there in this street in Mathura. I'have tried making them once, a long time ago, and this is what i remember: soak the chickpeas overnight and grind them (in a handcrank grinder) to a paste, then mix in spices, put in mould. let it rise (in the sun) that paste rises real fast, then in the steamer for about 45 minutes or so ....then after that, fry 'em up with spices (mustard seeds and all) and serve with sprinkled cilantro and grated coconut on top and probably some outrageous chutney dip. Suddenly the chutney flashes back to me, instead of dates i used dried prunes and wow was it good...unfortunately i don't remember the other chutney ingredients right now.

But what amazes me so much about this is all those processes: soaking first, this way the pea starts sprouting, this whole new energy coming out. You can shortcut a lot of this by using chickpea flour instead, but it is so much more fun (and Yum) to do it the long way: soaking and grinding. The grinding can be problematic without the right tools , but there just happened to be a handgrinder. An electric one would work too i guess, but don't add water. Anyways when you're that far you could make falafel instead i guess....
Then rising, naturally, no baking soda, and then steaming, another amazing process for" baked goods" , and then finally frying. Wow, those chickpeas must have a long history to have such an elaborate recipe!

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