Tag Archives: Chickpea

My constant companions: books, cats, and a tummy ache

I have had another week of being a cereal-killer. This time courtesy a band of bacteria brothers who are partying their way through my digestive system. Everyone I know seems to be laid up with a tummy infection. Since I ignored mine for a couple of weeks, and compounded it with hypochondria and a low threshold of pain, I was reduced to silently mouthing my favorite childhood song

“Got a stomach ache, got a stomach ache,
Got a stomach just now,
Called the doctor, called the doctor,
Called the doctor just now,
Operation, operation,
Operation just now,
Just now an operation,
An operation just now.”

(Aside: You should pity my family. I was given to belting this out, loud and raucous, each time there was even a hint of childhood tummy ache.)

I did not have the energy to do anything but make guttural pain induced noises, while sipping on water and occasionally eating a bowl of cereal or yogurt. Tough and merciless times.

If it was music and being fit that helped me through the last week, it was books and cats to the rescue this week. I would have spent 6,392 minutes this week looking at cat pictures and videos (everything from cat shows, to small cats, large cats, confused cats, cats taking a bath, eejit cats). Once the universe cottoned on to my cat obsession, I was inundated with cat links. Friends sent me links and pictures, and Facebook’s algorithms spewed cats on my newsfeed. One of my favorites is from Brain Pickings.

Vegetarian cat regarding a plate of fried eggs
Vegetarian cat regarding a plate of fried eggs

The other savior were books. I discovered – fell in love – with two authors this week, Kate Atkinson and Maeve Binchy. Kate writes as if she swallowed a couple of limes for breakfast and then laconically abetted a few murders before lunch. Her characters, in even very minor roles, jump out of the pages and sit by your side while you read – that’s how powerful her writing is. Maeve, on the other hand, writes frothy light stuff, like a long gentle bath with scented bubbles. Her books are set in Ireland, and given my obsession with the country, they make for delightful reading. The one I read, Quentins, was about a restaurant and Dublin, and there is something delicious about relating to ‘getting a coffee by the Liffey’. So tummy ache keeping you awake till wee hours of the morning ceases to become a problem and instead becomes an opportunity for a reading marathon. I get thrilled when I experiment with reading, discover an author I like, and realize that he or she has written tons of books already. The start of a beautiful friendship, when you know that there are many long and joyous days awaiting the both of you!

Pita bread and its friends for dinner
Pita bread and its friends for dinner

There were occasional period of lucidity – remember how we had folks over for dinner last week? As a nod to my days working in the middle east, I dished up babaghanoush, hummus and tzatziki, all David Lebovitz recipes. Served with lightly toasted pita bread. There was also a creamy corn in bread muffin cups, which you don’t see here. Will put up a pic and recipe for that when I make it next. Meanwhile, let me know if you need help sourcing Tahini. The friends brought the main meal and dessert to our place. The cinnamon swirl cake was the most delicious ever, and on enquiring, they told us it was baked from a box. Determined to figure out how to make it from scratch sans a pre-mix. This sounds close.

Anyhow, I should experiment this week. SG is packing his bags for the work week, and I am looking forward to some more cereal, cats, and reading.

The long promised Chickpea Croquettes

My blog might lead you to believe that I enjoy baking at the expense of ‘ordinary’ cooking. Not true that. And here’s one my favorite savoury recipe as proof.  I stumbled across it while searching for banana granola bars – which Good Things Grow has a fabulous recipe for.

Chickpea Croquettes
Chickpea Croquettes

I typically make the croquettes as finger food, and they work really well with drinks. They go well with some harissa sauce or chilli-tomato ketchup. I must try these with my mom’s super recipe for coriander chutney. Will let you know when I do.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup water
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin (I use roasted cumin powder)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas. I soak dried chickpeas overnight, and pressure-cook them. A can of garbanzo should work equally well
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 green chilli, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped/crushed
  • 2 tablespoons coriander, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive or any other oil

Heat the water. In a large mixing bowl, mix in the salt and cumin powder into the flour. Add the lemon juice and heated water and stir to combine. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix.

Heat some oil in your largest pan. I have successfully tried both my grill pan, and the hard-anodized saucepan. Drop in a large spoonful of the mixture and shape into coax any errant chickpeas towards the croquettes. Let them sizzle for about 3 to 5 minutes, till they become golden brown. Flip, and repeat. Depending on the size of your pan, you can put in multiple croquettes.  Just ensure that they cook through, as you do not want to bite into undercooked flour.

They are best served hot. I stuck one batch into the oven with the ‘keep warm’ option, which worked well.

So go ahead, soak those chickpeas or open that can of garbanzo. You will not regret it one bit, promise. You will however, be upset that you have not discovered these before.