I’ve been saving this recipe for a few days. The Hubs was out of town and he specifically asked me not to make it until he gets home. I’ve only made this dish once before and it kind of intimidated me. I think it’s because my version came out looking nothing like the one on Vegetarian ‘Ventures‘ site. But you know what? That’s ok. I’m not a professional chef and I haven’t practiced this numerous times.
First off, I left out the cilantro. I hate it. It’s like eating grass to me. That said, you do use coriander seeds, which is just a fancy name for cilantro.
This is what my trusty Flavor Thesaurus says:
Coriander seeds have a delicious citrus and balsamic character, not unlike a nice version of those scented wooden balls some people keep in their underwear drawers. They lend a startlingly pretty flavor used as the sole aromatic in cookies or to offset the bitterness of wine when you mull it–after all, their flavor recalls the classic mulling combination of orange, cinnamon and clove. Coriander seeds bring a fragrant, feminine touch to curry powder blends and pastes and to mixed pickling spices. They’re also one of the key botanicals in gin. A spare peppermill fixed with roasted coriander seeds could easily get you hooked.
I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t associate coriander seeds with underwear, nor did I associate them with gin! I also don’t have any great feelings towards them.
The next spice you use is mustard seeds. When you smell them, they really do give off a slight smell of mustard.
My Cook’s Wisdom says:
The seeds of the mustard plant come in three colors: white (also called yellow), brown, and black. Mustard seeds, which have a pungent, hot taste, are used whole as a primary ingredient in pickling mixtures and for flavoring marinades. Dry, or powdered, English mustard is used in sauces and dressings, and it may also be used to make prepared mustard at home.
The next spice is cumin seeds. You’ll usually use ground cumin in Mexican dishes.
Before I go on, don’t worry about eating a spoonful of your food and getting a mouthful of these seeds. You won’t notice them at all. Trust me.
So, take all of these and toast them until they start to pop. And they will pop so be careful. I took one in the arm last night.
Once they start to pop, add your other ingredients. The recipe calls for “whole tomatoes, crushed.” So, that’s exactly what I did. I bought a can of whole tomatoes. I used a potato masher to mash up the tomatoes.
She says to let it simmer until the sauce thickens up, but mine never did. I wonder if it has anything to do with the water you have to add. I think the tomato juice is enough water, but then the recipe calls for 1 cup of water. I think I’ll try leaving the water out next time, or maybe just add 1/2 cup. I brought everything to a boil while I was mixing up the chickpea dumplings.
I didn’t use the pepper, cilantro, or yogurt. I left out the yogurt because I just couldn’t bring myself to buy a big container of plain yogurt only to use a little bit for one recipe. If you use the yogurt to make your chickpea dumplings, let me know how they turned out.
Mix everything together until your dough starts to feel like glue.
Don’t worry about the mixture. I worried that it didn’t look to be enough and was worried how the dumplings would turn out. She says to “drop a heaping tablespoon” into the sauce. I found that there wasn’t enough of the mixture to have a “heaping tablespoon.” So I just did a little tablespoon and ended up having 6 dumplings.
The recipe also says to let them steam for about 5-7 minutes. Because I felt the sauce was a bit too watery, I let mine steam for longer. I steamed mine with the lid cracked open a bit. My logic was that I wanted to keep some moisture in but also let some out because I wanted the sauce to thicken. Ultimately, I think I let mine steam for about 20 minutes. When I went to check on them later, the sauce did indeed thicken up a bit.
I served my chickpea dumplings with basmati rice, and I cooked them using the pilaf method. When you make this dish, DO NOT forget to add salt and pepper!! I totally forgot. I think I was so intimidated by the recipe (and I don’t know why because it’s easy) that I completely forgot to add some.
This dish is great (when you remember to add salt and pepper). The little one wasn’t too keen on it but that’s ok. I knew the spices would put him off, but he did give it a good go. I will say that my dumplings didn’t look anything like hers did in the recipe, but I’m not bothered. They were still good. I think next time I’m going to try to double the dumplings mixture so we can have more. The Hubs had seconds and was kind of disappointed that there wasn’t enough for leftovers for lunch the next day.
If you try this recipe and you add the yogurt and cilantro, holler at me and let me know how it tastes.