I just reorganized my pantry and found many cans of chickpeas, which reminded me that I haven’t made this old standby in ages. When my house was full of hungry kids with lots of homework that needed supervising, this was a lifesaver. I could get a high-protein, filling dinner on the table in under 30 minutes. And inexpensively too, no mean feat these days.
Now I have my own projects to attend to, happily many of them knitting WIPs, and this past weekend I was grateful for those cans of chickpeas.
It’s a jumble because you can add almost anything to it and it’s delicious. I usually go with the additions of ground turkey and lots of warm spices, herbs, and soft leaves like spinach or chard. Other ground proteins work well, especially lamb and plant-based meat substitutes. The yogurt topping is rich in just the right tangy way.
The most important step is the crisping of the chickpeas. Don’t rush this step—it brings out the nuttiness of the chickpeas and makes for a meal with satisfying texture.
It goes like this . . .
¼ cup plus 2T vegetable or olive oil
2 cans chickpeas (15 oz each), rinsed, well drained
1 T ground cumin
1 T ground coriander seed
1 T turmeric
½ t cayenne
1 t salt
Black pepper to taste
1 lb ground turkey
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz fresh spinach
½ bunch each fresh cilantro and parsley, coarsely chopped
plain yogurt (for serving)
Lay drained chickpeas on a tea towel or paper towels and roll them around to get as dry as possible.
Mix together all the dry spices, including salt and pepper. Set aside.
Heat ¼ cup of oil in a 12″ or larger skillet until hot but not smoking. Add the chickpeas and let them sizzle and fry, stirring frequently, until they are crispy, about 10 minutes.
Sprinkle half the spices over the chickpeas, give them a shake to evenly distribute, then remove chickpeas from the skillet and set aside.
Add remaining oil to skillet and sauté the onion until golden.
Stir in the garlic, then add the turkey. Sauté until the turkey is lightly browned.
Add the remaining spices.
Add the spinach and stir until wilted. If your spinach was very dry you might need a splash of water to get the wilting going.
Return the chickpeas to the pan, then add the cilantro and the parsley and stir to combine. Taste one last time for salt and pepper.
Serve with a dollop of plain yogurt. Serves 4–6