Chickpeas in Spicy Tomato Gravy or halabessa not only has wonderful flavor, but also a pretty presentation. It’s the last in a series of Egyptian dishes inspired by this month’s Food of the World party. Rick and I loved the change from the usual garbanzos and broth we’re accustomed to eating.
Noha from Matters of the Belly explains that halabessa is a popular Egyptian street food. Her version uses dried chickpeas and chopped tomatoes to make the gravy. I decided to take the easy way out and take advantage of canned garbanzos and tomato paste.
I served the chickpeas in spicy tomato gravy as part of a larger Egyptian themed meal along with dukkah crusted tofu and oven fried feta cheese. While doing my research I came across a bunch of recipes I would have loved to make. They’ve been saved to my Pinterest board if you’re interested. You could also drop by Simple Living and Eating to see the wonderful food that’s been prepared by the other bloggers.
- 1 small can double concentrated tomato paste
- 4 cups (more or less) vegetable or chicken broth (I used vegetable broth)
- 1 pound cooked chick peas (just over 2 cups)
- ½ medium onion, chopped
- 1 - 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon cayenne or chili powder, more or less
- salt and pepper to taste
- juice of one lemon
- Heat the broth and tomato paste together until simmering.
- Add the chickpeas, onion and garlic, along with the seasonings.
- Simmer together for 20 - 30 minutes or until heated through.
- Right before serving, stir in a generous squeeze of lemon juice.
- Serve with toasted pita wedges, chopped parsley for garnish and lemon slices.
If you prefer, saute the onions and garlic in a little olive oil before adding the broth and tomato paste. I chose to make this in the oil free vegan style and found there was plenty of flavor for a dish that takes just over a half hour and only requires opening a couple jars, a little chopping and a bit of stirring. That being said, the next time we make a batch of garbanzos I will definitely reproduce this recipe. I’m sure it will be even better.