Incorporating more meatless meals into your diet does not mean you will be serving up bland meals lacking substance. Contrary to many folk’s interpretation of a vegetarian diet, we don’t just eat salad, pasta and rice. I think this dish proves how delicious and wholesome a vegetarian meal can be.

Jerk Chickpeas

Vegetarian Jerk Chickpeas

Essentially, this is vegan stove-top version of jerk chicken with chickpeas. I’ve never tried jerk chicken because my parents rarely explored ethnic cooking and even before I became a vegetarian over 20 years ago, I was never really a fan of chicken. But after many years of experimenting with world cuisines in my kitchen, I felt confident enough to play around with Caribbean flavours. Hot, sweet and sour, tangy and zesty, this chickpea recipe is now one of my favorite ways to enjoy chickpeas. Try it for yourself and see if you don’t agree.

I served the chickpeas with some homemade sweet potato rotis, though they would go well with[highlight] chapatis[/highlight], tortillas or any other savory flatbread. Keep these in mind for your next picnic excursion or for a satisfying patio meal.

Vegetarian Jerk Chickpeas

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 – 2 scotch bonnets, seeded and minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 small bunch of green onions, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 1 medium red pepper, seeded and diced
  • generous handful of fresh parsley, trimmed and chopped
  • juice from 3 fresh limes
  • freshly black pepper and sea salt to taste

Rinse the chickpeas and soak in enough water to cover overnight. Drain, transfer to a large pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover and simmer until the beans are soft – about 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Drain and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. When hot, toss in the ginger, garlic and chilies and stir and for a few minutes. Toss in the thyme and ground spices and stir and fry for another minute.

Now add the tomatoes, honey, maple syrup and tamari and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes to thicken.

Stir in the cooked chickpeas, green onions, red pepper and roughly 3/4 cup water. Simmer for another 15 – 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding more water as needed. Note, you want a fairly thick and dry consistency as the end result.

Stir in the fresh lime juice and parsley, black pepper and sea salt and simmer for another few minutes.

Garnish with chili flakes, green onion slices and parsley.

Yields 6 servings.

Vegetarian Jerk Chickpeas

Jerk Chickpeas

If you like this recipe, you are sure to enjoy[highlight] Chickpeas Smothered in a Tangy Tomato Gravy[/highlight].

Based in London, Ontario, a veteran vegetarian for 22 years serves up a collection of delicious culinary creations from her kitchen, with an emphasis on spicy Indian dishes. If you want to know what sensible vegetarians eat, Lisa's Kitchen is the place to be. All images and writing in this post are copyright Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen

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