We’ve been in Cape Town now for three weeks and we’re slowly starting to adjust to life here. We’re less in a constant rush and hurry, we’re taking time to appreciate life by doing crazy things like watching the sunset which we would’ve never done in Paris – and that’s not even because of the mostly invisible sun hidden behind the mostly grey skies. We’re spending much more time outdoors which involves lots of running on the Sea Point Promenade, but also lots and lots of walking, especially for me, as I don’t have a car yet. I’m not complaining, this is a much better way to discovering our neighborhood as opposed to looking at it through a car window.
We’re also eating out more often than usual, partly because food is so good here and there’re so many places to discover but also because we’re still in the transit period of waiting for the shipment of our things to arrive. The kitchen of the house we’re staying at is decently equipped but it’s still not the same as cooking in my own kitchen.
So today’s recipe is an extremely simple side dish with only a handful of ingredients: chickpeas with ground cumin. We do this quite often in our house because both my husband and my daughter love it so much. And myself as well. It’s tasty, it’s filling and it’s vegan. You could serve this as part of a light dinner or lunch, say alongside a big salad or fried eggs. You could also serve it as a starter by pimping it up with some freshly chopped parsley, coriander or celery.
I usually make a bigger batch, firstly because it lasts quite a few days in the fridge and secondly because it’s even better when it sits a day or two. Today I’ll be grilling some veggies and merguez on the barbecue so I’ll serve the chickpeas along with the grilled goodies.
What you’ll need to serve 4:
- 250g dry chickpeas
- 1tbs ground cumin
- 1tsp pink Himalaya salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 3-4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
What you’ll need to do:
- I usually buy dry chickpeas and cook them myself but if you don’t have time for that go with the canned version, just make sure you rinse the peas thoroughly. If using dry chickpeas, soak them overnight then transfer to a large pot, cover with water, add 1 tsp of baking soda and cook for about 45-60 minutes. Once chickpeas are well cooked, drain. You really want to cook your chickpeas soft and tender but avoid overcooking or they’ll become mushy.
- Add salt, pepper, cumin and olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning. Don’t be shy with the cumin and the olive oil, this is what will give the great taste and texture to your dish.
I’m also sharing with you a few photos from the produce aisle of local supermarkets. The striking thing is the availability of pre-chopped goods here. In France this is not something I was used to seeing. Of course this can be handy when you’re time-starved or don’t have the patience to battle with a butternut squash, but c’mon ladies! And gentlemen! Slicing up an onion is not that big of a deal!
And even when things are not pre-chopped, they’re often pre-measured, pre-selected produce, wrapped in lots ‘n lots of plastic like these papayas or the apple aisle. If anyone’s reading me from Cape Town, please advise me on where to find farmer’s markets in and around the city!