I never really cook with dried beans, chickpeas or lentils. I suppose it is because my mom never used to, so when I buy them with the firm intention to try something new, they just sit in the cupboard. I simply have no idea what to do with them. And they don’t go bad so I don’t feel any pressure to cook them either.
Also, I am not very big on meal planning. I cook from scratch every night if I am home, but I have become quite good at using what I have available in my pantry to create a nice meal in less than 30 minutes. The fact that you are supposed to soak your beans overnight is therefore just another deterrent.
But apparently bean-soaking is all a myth! I came across this article on Serious Eats and it convinced me to finally give beans or chickpeas in my case, their chance. You will notice this recipe uses a lot of easy shortcuts – you can of course cook this vegan curry with all fresh ingredients, but I like cooking with pre-cut staples on week nights!
Ingredients: 1 large bowl of chickpeas – 2 sweet potatoes – 250 g fresh spinach – 400 g diced canned tomatoes – 200 ml coconut milk – 150 ml vegetable stock – 1 tbsp lemongrass paste – 2 tbsp chopped ginger- 1 tsp green curry paste – salt and pepper to taste olive oil
1. Rinse your chickpeas. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and pour your chickpeas in there. Leave to cook for about 30 minutes or until “al dente”.
2. In the mean time, peel and cut your sweet potatoes into cubes. After the chickpeas have cooked for 30 minutes, add the sweet potatoes to the pot and cook for another 20 minutes.
3. Pour the equivalent of 2 tbsp olive oil in a deep pan, then add the green curry paste and chopped ginger. Cook for 2-3 minutes to bring out the flavours. Then add the diced tomatoes, the coconut milk and the vegetable stock. Add the lemongrass paste.
4. Add the chickpeas and sweet potatoes. And leave to simmer for another 10 minutes. Add the fresh spinach leaves, and leave to simmer for the last 5 minutes.
5. That’s it, you are done! Serve with basmati rice for example.
I think it is still worth soaking the beans if you think about it as it will reduce the cooking time by about 20 minutes, but for me not soaking makes a big difference! I don’t really mind leaving my chickpeas cooking for longer as I have time to do other stuff in the mean time.