Although I most often associate dill with pickles and Scandinavian cuisine, it was Vietnamese (specifically cha ca thang long) and this Indian dish that finally turned me onto the polarizing herb.
And so the girl who could barely tolerate dill as a garnish (I’m a sweet gherkin girl through and through) became somebody who can’t seem to pass up the large, leafy bunches when they make their appearance at the farmer’s market.
Chickpeas are simmered with garlic and onions, Indian spices, a slightly sweet tomato sauce and plenty of chopped, fresh dill in this healthy vegan dish. If you’ve got pre-cooked chickpeas on hand, the dish should only take about 20 minutes from start to finish.
Although you can certainly use canned chickpeas for this recipe, I’d strongly recommend boiling up some dried beans yourself. They’re not only more economical, but the texture is far superior, which is pretty important in a dish made almost exclusively with chickpeas.
Indian Chickpeas with Tomatoes and Dill
Yield: 4 servings
* 2 Tablespoons oil
* 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 teaspoon minced or grated fresh ginger
* 1 teaspoon ground coriander
* 1 teaspoon cayenne
* 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
* 1 cup diced tomatoes in their juice
* 2 cups finely chopped dill leaves and tender stalks
* 2-1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
* 1/4 cup water
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon sugar
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to turn golden. Add the garlic and ginger and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the onion mixture is golden. Reduce heat to medium.
Add the coriander, cayenne and turmeric and stir to evenly coat the onions mixture. Add the tomatoes with their juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to break down. You can use the back of a wooden spoon to help break up the larger chunks.
Add the dill, chickpeas, water, salt and sugar and simmer until the dill has wilted and the mixture is heated through, about 5-10 minutes.
Adapted from 5 Spices, 50 Dishes: Simple Indian Recipes Using Five Common Spices by Ruta Kahate