The changing weather has reminded me how much I love these chickpeas, another stellar recipe from the Indian Slow Cooker cookbook (slightly adapted). This is one that you can quickly throw in the slow cooker in the morning; when you’re ready for dinner, you put on the rice and can finish the chickpeas and make a salad in the time the rice takes to cook. This is another “quadruple threat” meal: cheap, easy, healthy and tasty. If you like having meals in the freezer, make 1.5 times the recipe and freeze the leftovers.
makes 4 XL servings or 6 medium servings
3 cups dry chickpeas, washed ($1)
1 bag black tea ($.10)
4 cups water
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced ($.25)
1/2 big tomato, chopped ($.35)
1″ piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced ($.10)
2 cloves garlic, chopped ($.10)
1 green chili, chopped ($.10)
1 T chana masala, or a mix of your fave Indian spices ($.20)
1 t red chili powder ($.05)
1 t kosher salt ($.05)
1/2 t turmeric powder ($.05)
2 1/2 t whole cumin seeds ($.25)
3-4 T olive oil ($1)
1/2 lemon, juiced ($.35)
fresh cilantro ($.20)
1. In the morning, throw the chickpeas, water and tea bag in the slow cooker and set on high for 7 hours. If you’re home, stir it a couple of times throughout the day. If not, don’t sweat it.
2. When you get home, throw out the tea bag, give the chickpeas a stir and put your rice on to cook.
3. Make a well in the top of the chickpeas and pile in the onion thru cumin seeds – ensure that the cumin seeds are on top.
4. Heat the oil in a heavy pan over medium-high heat until it starts to steam; pour the hot oil over the pile of spices and veggies in small circles so that you hear the cumin and onion crackle. Put the slow cooker lid back on and let sit 10-15 minutes.
5. Add the lemon juice and cilantro and mix well. Serve over rice with a salad or veggie on the side.
The total cost of this recipe as posted is $4.15 – that’s a per plate cost of $0.69 (based on 6 servings). Adding in 6 servings of rice ($1.50) and a basic seasonal salad ($2), you can have a complete meal for 6 people for $7.65, or $1.28 per plate.