Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Oriental Comfort

Chorba di Ceci, Bulgur Turco & Tamarinde
Chickpea Chorba with Turkish Bulgur & Tamarind


The weather has turned so wet and so cold that I am at the point that my thoughts are veering towards the "comfort food" part of the food spectrum. We sure could do with some comforting here in Frankfurt!

So I decided to make a warming and comforting bowl of chickpeas with some Oriental "chorba" spices... turmeric, ginger, oregano, lime leaves, cloves, garlic, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg... because spices always make me happy!


I added some wonderful, Turkish bulgur with tiny, toasted, full-grain vermicelli in them- one of my favorite discoveries at the Turkish supermarket! Such a perfect addition to turn a few simple ingredients into a full meal! And ready in just 25-30 minutes too!


To make 2 servings, I needed: 1 can chickpeas, 2 cups Turkish bulgur, 1 small stick of celery, 1 small carrot, 1 Spring onion, 1 tablespoon tamarind paste, 1 teaspoon chorba spices, 1 teaspoon of Turkish Ajvar fresh parsley and a few tender celery leaves.


The added tamarind paste gave this dish a tangy "kick" that made it really special and cooking it in a tagine made it a little more fun... but tamarind or no tamarind, tagine or saucepan, this is a simple and delicious dish that is fun to make and certain to be enjoyed!

All that needed to be done by way of preparation, was to finely chop the carrot, celery and Spring onion and then the sort through the tamarind paste, discarding any stones or seeds in it... and to get the tagine on the stove top and warmed-up and ready to go!


I started off with the finely diced vegetables, which I sautéed in a little olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. frying them until the onion became transparent and the tamarind began to infuse everything with its wonderful tangy flavor.


After frying for 3-4 minutes, I added a splash of boiling water, the chickpeas and the chorba spice and ajvar, then stirred everything together. I then added 2 cups for boiling water and let them boil for the next 5 minutes.


5 minutes later, the mixture looked like this!


Next, in went the bulgur and vermicelli, on went the lid and off I went to set the table for the next 5-6 minutes...


After 5-6 minutes of further boiling, I turned off the heat and decided to let the bulgur sit and fluff-up and continue to soak up all of those good and spicy and tangy flavors.


Rich, tasty and delicious- this is my kind of food on a cold and dreary day!


I enjoyed mine with some of the tender, pale leaves from the inside of the celery and plenty of finely chopped parsley... more great flavors to make this dish more special!


 I wish I had made a little bit more- this stuff tasted terrific!

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