Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Moro's chickpeas with pomegranate seeds

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
(Kikerherned granaatõunasiirupiga)

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
sea salt
black pepper

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.


Anonymous said...

Very original Pille. I would dip my spoon in this so much!

Anonymous said...

Pille - täna teen azuud:), aga tahtsin küsida, kas laimibesee ja vahukommide retsept ka tuleb? Aitäh, Liis

Anonymous said...

Ehh, polegi vist toidukraamist midagi sellist, mis Eestis odavam poleks.

Anonymous said...

Verry interessant, is it an estonian meal ?

Pille said...

Bea - thanks!

Liis - laimibesee ja vahukommide retseptid panen juba sel nädalavahetusel eestikeelsesse retseptikogusse üles - kiika sinna ka aeg-ajalt!

Anon. - üht-teist ikka on, aga enamasti on siin vist soodsam jah:)

Laitue - of course not:) Casa Moro cookbook features recipes from the Moorish Spain and northern Africa, so it's quite a distance from here:)

Deeba PAB said...

What a great blog & so much flavour. Was out looking for something to do with pomegranates, then went on to looking for recipes for pom chickpeas seem to add more flavour to my search! Thank you!! Deeba