Greeks and chickpeas make a weird combination. Every time I mention pulses to most of my Greek friends, their minds swiftly travel to flatulation. And mentioning chickpea soup is a sure way to become their instant enemy – we all have memories of our hungry tummies having the so-called wholesomeness of chickpea soup imposed upon us, rebelling against the sloppy broth and yearning for dry and tender beans.
I can vouch that chickpea soup has gone down in Greek culinary history as the most hated dish amongst youngsters. No matter how emphatically mums insist upon it being good for you and no matter if they bribe you with all the cake in the world for 3 more spoonfuls, it’s a horror.
So, in the hope that I will be able to convert a few traumatised souls, here is an incredible chickpea stew. Their wholesomeness duly glorified by the warmth of a slow bake.
You can use chickpeas from a can for this recipe to cut down waiting time. If you prefer to use your own dried chickpeas, one very important step to avoid flatulation and decrease cooking time is, of course, to soak them.
People say to soak them overnight. You can do it before you leave for work too. I actually forgot them covered in water and 2 tablespoons of salt for a day and they were fine.
Vegeterian friends rejoice, here are the ingredients:
Chickpea bake with orange & chilli
- 500 gr chickpeas
- 2 medium red onions
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp of boukovo paprika or 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 orange for the juice
- 70 ml olive oil
- 600 ml water
- Soak the chickpeas overnight.
- Next, put them in a pot and bring to the boil for 15-20 minutes. Cooking time will depend on how fresh the pulses are. They should be half done. Discard the foam and keep the water for the bake if you like.
- Finely chop the onions and garlic. Put the chickpeas, onion and garlic in a baking tray, sprinkle with paprika and a bit of salt. Mix in the olive oil, orange juice and water.
- Cover and place in a pre-heated oven for 45 minutes at 180°C/gas mark 5.
Enjoy your chickpea bake!
from Athens with love,