09, 26, 2012
Spicy Chickpea Stew With Labne

So, I guess it is Fall.
Thank God. I had enough of summer, thanks.

I am listening to the worstgreat Greek song as I write this. It is making me feel weird and great all at the same time.

Did anyone know that the word for "clove" and the word for "carnation" are one and the same in Greek? It is because they look alike. Or, the Greeks think they do.

Now, with all these non-sequitors in mind, I love anything chickpea related, and got so happy when the weather got cold enough for me to make this stew.
It is simple enough to make, and it's spicy with chile, ginger, garlic, cumin and cinnamon. Then, to cool it down and add something tangy, you can top it with labne or Greek yogurt.

Spicy Chickpea Stew with Labne
Serves 8-10

1 16 ounce bag dried chickpeas, soaked overnight or for at least 6 hours

1 large sweet onion, diced fine
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1 or 2 fresh chiles or Serranno peppers chopped fine (depending on how spicy you want it.)
1 28 ounce can pureed tomatoes
2 handfuls fresh parsley, roughly chopped
2 handfuls fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
Extra virgin olive oil

In a heavy pot, saute the onion, garlic and ginger with three good pours of olive oil and a healthy pinch of salt. 
After 5 minutes, add the cumin, cinnamon stick and chiles. Saute for another minute. 
Drain and rinse the chick peas and add to the pot.
Add the can of tomatoes and JUST enough water so that it is covering the chickpeas by 1/2 and inch. 
Reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer for about 2 hours, checking the chickpeas for tenderness. 
Add the parsley in the last 1/2 hour of cooking, and reserve the cilantro for last minute garnish. 
When the soup has cooled down a bit, taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper. I like to add a bit more olive oil at this point so you get that lovely taste of pure olive oil throughout the stew. To serve, top with labne or plain yogurt and some cilantro. 

I think...
A Greek Cloud
Happy Thanksgiving