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Chickpea Date Masala




بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
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Algeria is known for its culivation and use of dates, namely the Deglet Nour variety. And it's no secret how fond I am of dates. I try to incorporate them into our daily life as a part of the Sunnah. Dates will find their way into breads, pancakes, cookies, smoothies even nourishing milk for the children. But still somehow these are all on the rather sweet side. I've been trying also to include them in more savoury dishes as well. I found a few ideas around the Internet, for instance this braised chicken with dates from Martha Stewart, this Chickpea stuffed eggplant and this Date Masala from The New York Times. I bookmarked them all, but unforunately forgot all about them so never ended up trying them out.

But I had now twice a chickpea curry at my friend Z's home which I just loved. It was absolutely lovely. Warm, nourishing and slightly spicy vegetarian dish that if perfect for a weekday meal or even when guests arrive. Her curry reminded me the TNYT masala so I went to play around in the kitchen with the recipes and her tips. The result was quite pleasing ... Warm spiced chickpeas coated, almost candied in the luscious date thickened sauce. The dates just melt into the sauce mellowing out the spiciness of the dish. The recipe was quite filling for my family of 6 when I served it with rice and a cooling cucumber salad.


chickpea date masala 

An unusual twist on the favourite Indian chana masala 

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SPECIAL DIETS:  LOW FAT, VEGAN FRIENDLY, VEGETARIAN, GLUTEN FREE


mains  | serves 4 alone or 6 with side of rice


PREP TIME: 5 -10 MINS
COOK TIME: 30 - 35 MINS

۞ = SUBSTITUTIONS

With fragant basmatic rice and a cooling cucumber salad such as a raita



NOTE 
‣ I have used dried chickpeas that I have soaked overnight in water and baking soda. For more information on using dried beans/legumes refer to this post. 

‣ For this recipe you can use 2 cups dried chickpea which is around 6 cups fully cooked and drained chickpeas OR 2 (15 oz) canned chickpeas that you can have drained from the brine. 



  • 480g - 2 cups of dried chickpeas, soak overnight
  • pinch of baking soda
  • water to soak
  • 1 large or 2 medium Spanish onions, grated
  • 2 large carrots, cubed small
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ ground ginger
  •  ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2 star anise
  • ½ TBS tomato paste
  • 1 tsp (or to taste) hot paprika or pepper of your choice
  • 10-12 Deglet Nour dates, pitted and chopped
  • 3 TBS oil/ghee
  • salt/black pepper/water
  • chopped parsely


    SOAK the dried chickpeas overnight in 3x the water and baking soda. The following morning, drain and rinse the chickpeas. Place the chickpeas in a large heavy bottom pot. Fill the pot with 2x the amount of water to chickpea. Allow to simmer on a very low heat for about 2 hours until fully cooked. For instructions on how to cook chickpeas in a pressure or slow cooker refer to this post. 

    If you are using canned chickpea, omit the above steps.

    WHEN ready to cook the masala: Chop the onion and garlic finely. I grate them as it's easier for me. Lightly stir fry them in oil until the onion is transparent but the garlic isn't burned. This will take about 10-12 minutes. Push the onions aside then add in the tomato paste. Allow the tomato paste, spices and salt to caramelize in the oil for few mintues.

    NOW add the carrots, chickpeas and dates. Stir well then add enough water to completely cover the chickpeas. 

    SIMMER on a low-medium heat for total of 30 minutes cooking. Check the masala around the 20 minute mark for doneness (of the carrots) Once the carrots are cooked, reduce the heat so the sauce can thicken. Once the sauce is thick, the dates will mostly melt into the sauce.

    TASTE the sauce for seasoning, remove the star anise and sprinkle with chopped parsely as the garnish (optional) Ladle over steaming fragant basmatic rice. And optionally serve a refreshing raita salad on the side with this dish.


    Storage
    This dish will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days and 2 months in the freezer. To use from the freezer, simply reheat slowly on the stovetop on a low heat.

    Leftovers
    And leftovers can be easily frozen or optionally made into a soup by simply adding more water, some fresh chopped vegetables simmered for about 15 minutes.

    Variation
    You can alternatively, serve this dish with morsels of grilled or roasted meat to this dish if you preferred.



     CATEGORIES:   QUICK AND EASY, VEGETARIAN, VEGAN, budget meals, healthy

    SOURCE:  ADAPTED FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES And my friend z

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      what is one way you put a twist on your favourite dishes? 


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        3 comments:

        1. as-salamou aleykoum,

          i'm so glad to see again your wonderfull and beautyfull recipes masha'a Allah,
          you were so long time absent. I hope evrything is well for you and your family.

          salam
          um-zakaria

          ReplyDelete
        2. It looks very good! Greetings from Montreal, Canada. :)

          ReplyDelete
        3. Thank you for your great post. Your post is really valuable and help me a lot. Waiting for your next similar post.
          餐饮库存管理

          ReplyDelete

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