Weight & Wellness

Spicy Chickpeas with Cilantro


This is a simple dish which requires one piece of special equipment - a pressure cooker.  Liking cilantro (as I do) is helpful, also.  A whole bunch of cilantro is paired with a mere two cups of dried beans and plays the role of co-star as well as the main flavor enhancer in the final dish.  Just between you and me, I always add more cilantro...




2 C dried chickpeas

enough broth (chicken or vegetable) to cover by about 2" - about 5 cups

1/2 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. dried hot red pepper flakes (more or less to taste, but it should be spicy)

1/4 C extra virgin olive oil

2 -3 fresh bay leaves

a few cloves of garlic - coarsely chopped

1 large bunch cilantro - washed and coarsely chopped (stems included)


Place all of the ingredients in a pressure cooker and cook at high (15 lbs.) pressure until chickpeas are tender - anywhere from 30 minutes to 90 minutes depending on the age of the beans.  That is, if the beans look a little small and shriveled, they will take longer to cook.  I check every 30 minutes until they are tender.  If you have too much liquid in the pot after the beans are tender, just cook on top of the stove till liquid is reduced to your liking.  This can be whatever you like - soup, stew or beans and greens.


Just a warning, if you like chickpeas and cilantro you may find this dish addictive.


Please note:  I just made this dish again recently and this time I gave the chickpeas a one hour hot soak, that is, I placed them in the pressure cooker with enough water to cover, brought to a boil, then covered and let soak for one hour.  I then proceeded with the recipe.  The texture of the beans was much improved and the cooking time reduced to 30 minutes.  Cooking times for beans are tricky, as I mentioned, but give this method a try - it did taste better.