Chickpea and Egg Curry, Fragrant Rice, and Aquafaba
Reading Time: 5 minutes
This quick meal evokes warm, spicy aromas as the curry cooks. This chickpea and egg curry is easy to make, even for a new cook.
The autumn is a busy time here on our little patch of heaven. The wood stove has to be cleaned thoroughly for the safe burning of firewood. The seasoned wood is stacked according to size behind the chicken coop. The coop gets checked, too, for any areas that need repairing.
We’re harvesting winter squash, gourds, and pumpkins. We’ll pull the last of the onions and garlic from the garden. They’ll need to cure to keep them in optimum condition throughout the year.
All this extra work means less time for meal preparation.
That’s why I enjoy making curries, especially during fall. This quick meal evokes warm, spicy aromas as the curry cooks.
This chickpea and egg curry is easy to make, even for a new cook. It’s also filling and delicious. Oh, and it’s good for you, too. And an excellent way to use up an abundance of eggs from our “girls.”
CHICKPEA AND EGG CURRY
Depending on the curry powder you use, your curry will have a lighter, golden hue or a deeper, reddish one.
Notice the range of ingredient amounts. Curries are one of those “to taste” kinds of foods. Start with the lower amount and go from there.
- 3 cups cooked chickpeas, drained but not rinsed if canned
- ¼ cup red or yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped (2 teaspoons)
- Grated ginger or powdered ginger to taste
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- ¼ cup tomato sauce
- Up to 2 tablespoons paprika
- Up to 2 tablespoons curry powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- Unsweetened coconut milk or soy milk — start with 2½ cups and go from there
- 5 hard-boiled eggs
- Lemon pepper to taste
- Lemon slices or lime slices
- Fresh cilantro, parsley, or Vietnamese cilantro
- In a medium-sized pan, combine chickpeas, onion, garlic, ginger, tomato, tomato sauce, paprika, curry powder, cumin, and coconut milk.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Lower to a simmer and cook until curry is slightly thick, stirring occasionally.
- Chop up two of the boiled eggs and stir gently into the curry.
- Stir in lemon pepper to taste.
- Serve over rice and garnish with hard-boiled egg halves, lemon or lime slices, fresh cilantro, parsley, or Vietnamese cilantro. Naan (Indian bread) is nice alongside, as well.
Adapted from friend Triset De Fonseka’s chickpea curry recipe.
Gilding the lily: good add-ins
A handful of fresh spinach, torn into pieces and stirred into the chickpea curry when you add the hard-boiled egg gives a depth of flavor and color.
Double up and freeze it!
I like to make a double batch of curry to freeze for up to three months. I don’t add the chopped hard-boiled egg to the freezer portion since the egg loses texture in the freezer.
FRAGRANT TURMERIC BASMATI RICE
Turmeric, like ginger, is a health-giving rhizome. Turmeric adds a lemon-yellow color and pleasant fragrance to the rice.
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1¾ cups water
- 1 tablespoon butter or oil
- Several pinches of turmeric powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse rice by placing it in a bowl with enough water to cover an inch.
- Swish rice around to release excess starch. Repeat one more time.
- Drain rice very well.
- Place rice, water, oil, and turmeric in a saucepan.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat, then cover the pot with a lid. Turn heat down to a simmer and cook 15-20 minutes until all the water is absorbed and rice is tender.
- If the rice hasn’t cooked all the way, add a bit more water and cook a few more minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and let rest, covered for five minutes.
- Fluff rice with a spatula, not a fork (which tends to make the rice sticky).
- Season to taste and serve.
Tip: The many faces of curry powder
- There’s a dizzying array of curry powders at the grocery.
- Ingredients like ginger, garlic, and turmeric are common ingredients. Turmeric is what gives curry its beautiful yellow color.
- Curry powders may contain curry leaves, ground mustard, coriander, cardamom, and chilies.
- Curry powders can be mild/sweet or hotly spiced.
Here are a few of the popular offerings:
Madras curry powder. With roots in south India, Madras curry has a warm, sweet flavor with a hot kick.
Sri Lankan curry powder. This is the kind my friend and colleague, Chef Triset De Fonseka, makes from her native Sri Lankan roots.
Flavors of cumin, fennel, and turmeric shine in these powders.
Garam masala. Both garam masala and curry powder are used for flavoring. Garam masala doesn’t usually contain turmeric, which is one of the main ingredients in curry powder. Garam masala can be stirred in at the end of cooking time, while curry powder is added at the beginning.
WASTE NOT, WANT NOT: WHIPPED AQUAFABA
Vegan whipped “cream” from canned chickpea liquid!
It’s called aquafaba which, translated, means “bean water!” I have made it with the starchy liquid from canned chickpeas, and it whips up to a significant volume. The liquid from one can of chickpeas fills my big mixing bowl.
No worries that the whipped aquafaba tastes like beans. It’s a lovely, light-textured whipped delight with a bit of vanilla (and sugar if you want).
I have not tested the recipe with liquid from home-cooked dry chickpeas. I’m assuming it would work. You may have to reduce the liquid a bit to give it the viscosity of canned bean liquid.
You can make aquafaba sweet to use as a topping for desserts and drinks.
Leave out the vanilla and sugar, and you have a savory whipped topping for soups, savory bread puddings, etc.
This will take longer to whip than real cream. A stand mixer on high speed is the best. A hand mixer will work, but be patient. It doesn’t whip well by hand.
- ¾ cup aquafaba (liquid from one can of chickpeas)
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or to taste (optional)
- Powdered sugar to taste: I use 3 tablespoons (optional)
- Pour aquafaba into a mixing bowl.
- Stir in cream of tartar, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Blend on low.
- Turn the mixer on high speed and mix until stiff peaks form. The volume will increase as you beat the aquafaba. This takes anywhere from five to 10 minutes, depending upon your mixer.
- Use right away or store, covered, in the refrigerator for several hours.
- If the aquafaba happens to lose volume, whip it up again.
Cream of tartar, an acid, stabilizes the aquafaba cream. You can leave it out but use the cream soon after whipping.
Have you made aquafaba? Let us know and share your discoveries!
Originally published in the October/November 2021 issue of Backyard Poultry and regularly vetted for accuracy.