Healthy, light, easy to make, and yet – delicious and comforting. It’s not always easy to find such recipes. So when you do find one, you can be sure you’ll be making it over and over again. Such a recipe is the “Spinach and Chickpeas” from the Lebanese Cooking by Nita Mehta — the same cookbook I used to make my delicious Lebanese Cake.
I love this unpretentious dish, really, because, despite its simplicity, it has a lot of flavor, and it completely embraces you, especially after a long day.
4 cups chopped spinach
2 cups diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chickpeas (to be soaked overnight before cooking), OR 1 cup canned chickpeas (drained, except for a tiny bit of liquid — see instructions)
1 sliced medium-large onion
4 minced garlic flakes (the recipe calls for 2 to 4, but believe me, it’s way better with 4)
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp red chilli flakes (again, the recipe calls for either the powder or the flakes, but if you like spicy food, I recommend using both)
salt to taste
1A. If using uncooked chickpeas, don’t forget to soak them the night before (or the day if you have enough time). Then cook in a deep pan with just enough water for them to be covered. Once done, put aside and keep with the liquid.
1B. If using canned chickpeas, drain them except for about 1-2 tbsp of liquid.
2. Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium. (Using a deeper pan will make it easier to mix the ingredients.) Add the onion and garlic and cook until they are soft.
3. Add the spices, mix, and then add the spinach. Keep stirring until the spinach starts to become softer.
4. Add the chickpeas with 1-2 tbsp of liquid. Keep some of them whole, while breaking down others into halves and/or smaller bits.
5. Having mixed everything well, add the tomatoes, and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, being careful not to overcook the spinach.
6. If needed, add more salt.