I had another housewarming party last week, this time for my university girlfriends. There were 14 adults and 3 kids in the house on a Friday night, and we treated them to a buffet style table (known as rootsi laud or 'Swedish table' here). There were some stuffed Turkish-style aubergines, stuffed peppers with Suluguni cheese (i.e. the same cheese I used for making hatchapuri), and this chickpea salad with home-made pomegranate molasses (recipe below). Additionally, K. made creme brulees for everyone, which were wonderful (though I must admit I felt somewhat intimidated the butane torch he used, as it was definitely not intended for kitchen use!) As a result, we had 15 egg whites left over, half of which I turned into lime meringues, whereas K. used the other half to make some raspberry-flavoured marshmallows (he used the Polish raspberry syrup I got from Dagmar in July). It was a lovely party indeed.
Here's the recipe for chickpeas with pomegranate seeds and molasses, adapted from my signed copy of Sam & Sam Clark's Casa Moro. Apparently it makes a lovely side dish to fish.
Chickpea salad with pomegranate molasses
250 grams dried chickpeas*, or 450 grames canned chickpeas, rinsed
4 Tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp pomegranate molasses**
200 ml boiling water
about 1 scant tsp safron threads, mixed with a little of the hot water
a generous handful of fresh coriander, chopped***
1 large pomegranate, seeds only
If using dried chickpeas, then soak and boil them first (read below*). If using canned, just drain them.
Heat oil in a large saucepan on a moderate heat. Add garlic and fry gently (do not burn!). Add the drained chickpeas, pomegranate molasses**, water and safron-infused water. Simmer for 10 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated.
Add coriander/parsley, season with salt and pepper.
Transfer into a serving bowl, scatter pomegranate seeds on top.
* I used dried chickpeas, which I first soaked overnight in lots of cold water, with a couple of teaspoonfuls of baking soda thrown in (cannot remember where I read it, but apparently it helps them to soften). I then boiled them, first on a high heat, then reducing the heat, for about 90 minutes in plenty of fresh water, skimming off any foam that appeared on the top.
** I slowly boiled 1 litre of pomegranate juice for 30 minutes, until I was left with just over 100 ml of thick pomegranate molasses. A bottle of very good pomegranate juice (no added sugar!) from Azerbaijan costs just under £1.50 at the market here, which is a lot cheaper as the small plastic bottles that were available in the UK.
*** I couldn't find coriander - apparently it's not in season (asking for it at different stalls selling herbs at the market caused lots of amused looks) - so I used flat-leaf parsley instead.