Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.
Layering different spices is a sensory indulgence as much as it is an experience in cooking. I love this recipe and curries in general because the spices work together to take command of the dish and infuse otherwise ordinary ingredients with brazen flavor.
Most major manufacturers of spices will state on their label that they are gluten-free, but always double check because some brands use trace amounts of flour to prevent caking.
This recipe can easily be substituted with canned chickpeas, but if time allows, always opt for fresh. If you can utilize beans in other recipes, purchasing dried chickpeas will actually save you money. This recipe makes enough to serve up to 8 people and is also great over rice. Cooked chickpeas double as the base for an endless variety of hummus dips!
3 cups dried chickpeas
2-3 large diced tomatoes with juices
2 medium onions thinly sliced
4 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee (check label for gluten-free)
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons paprika
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
6-8 gluten-free pitas
Green onions trimmed, for tying (optional)
Place dried chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with water at least three inches above the beans. Let soak overnight and beans will expand twice their size.
Drain chickpeas and place in a large stockpot. Cover with fresh water at least three inches over the beans. Add bay leaf and bring to a gentle boil before reducing heat to low.
Continue to simmer for about 1 hour or until beans are cooked, but not mushy.
Discard bay leaf. Drain and reserve chickpeas.
Heat oil in a large pan and cook onions about 5 minutes or until they become soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook for a minute longer, stirring.
Add chili powder, turmeric, paprika, cumin, coriander, allspice and salt and stir over heat until the spices become very fragrant, only about a minute.
Stir in reserved chickpeas and tomatoes until well-combined. Cover pan and simmer over low heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in garam masala and simmer another 10 minutes. Top with fresh parsley.
Serve wrapped in heated pitas. Tie loosely with trimmed onions for presentation.