Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Feeding the Ravenous Hordes - Chickpea Ketchup 'Chilli'

Sometimes I get a little annoyed with even my favourite food writers. The thing that gets on my nerves is when their idea of something doesn't accord with mine. What might constitute the contents of a 'store cupboard' for example.

Apparently, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall thinks fresh ginger is the sort of thing you might just have lying around in your fridge waiting to be used up. Hugh, let me tell you this. I buy fresh ginger, and freeze it in chunks ready for use. It goes very mushy on defrosting but that's fine because I'm usually mushing it up in pastes for curry. However, it's not just lying around ready to be used in emergency suppers. The days when you really haven't given any thought to what you might eat until it's actually tea time and the ravenous hordes are, well, ravenous. 

On the day in question, then, while I didn't have the ginger available to make the Ketchup Curry which appears in Veg Everyday in the Storecupboard Suppers section. I was inspired by the suggested alternative of ketchup chilli and knocked up my own version with chickpeas - and no ginger.

This, for me, really is 'store cupboard'. The fresh ingredients are an onion, a couple of cloves of garlic and a red pepper, which I nearly always have in (onion and garlic I use pretty much every day, and if nothing else, I chop up the pepper in lunchboxes). You wouldn't need to have the red pepper - and if you are proper swanky, you might have a jar of them knocking around actually in your store cupboard (I aspire to this but in reality, there never is a jar of beautiful red peppers in my store cupboard). I'll admit to having far too comprehensive a selection of spices, but cumin and paprika are ones that I use regularly and always have in. You could use hot smoked paprika or chilli powder depending on the palate of your ravenous hordes. It does use quite a lot of ketchup, but again, it's always in the cupboard and I'm sure you could use tomato puree or a can of tomatoes, depending on what you had to hand.

I served it as a topping for baked potatoes, with grated cheese and some left over soured cream. There was also some watercress. In a surprise verdict from my own ravenous hordes (and my fiercest critics), Blue loved it, while Pink wasn't so keen (I was anticipating the reverse). I liked it a lot.

Chickpea Ketchup Chilli

Serves 4

1 small-ish onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, also finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
olive oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
2 x 400g tins of chickpeas, drained
10 tbsp tomato ketchup

Put a good splash of olive oil in a pan, and gently fry the onion and garlic for 5 minutes or so and add in the pepper, the paprika and cumin. Stir together then cook on a gentle heat for another 5 minutes or so, stirring every now and again, till softened. Tip in the drained chick peas and add the ketchup, plus a little water, stirring as you go, to make a sauce. Make sure everything is heated through, then serve as your store cupboard or fridge permits - on baked potatoes, with rice, on its own, even...



  1. As my other half loves to cook but hates crushing & grating garlic & ginger we always have Dorot little frozen cubes in the freezer which are brilliant for this recipe - a hit in our house

    1. good idea. I had some of those tubes of fresh herbs and spices for a competition recently and I could have used the ginger in that too, but I'd used it all up. My frozen stuff was too frozen to use when i made this (if you see what I mean)!

  2. Arf @ the thought of fresh ginger 'lying around waiting to be used up'! However I will forgive Hugh F-W because I adore his Vegetables cookbook. I didn't realise ginger could be frozen fresh, so thank you for that tip. Although that chickpea chilli looks yummy without it..

    1. Yeah I have to say I am fairly forgiving for the same reason - it is a great book!

  3. You do have a lot of marmalade in your store cupboard though RJ... :)

    1. hmmm maybe marmalade and lentils tomorrow then. What do you reckon?

  4. I think this looks lovely RJ - and I always have chickpeas in the cupboard. Have a slight addiction to them.

    Nigel Slater lists Smarties in his store cupboard essential list. Bless!

    1. as a confirmed carnivore, I find my addiction to chickpeas slightly odd but there we go - I love them. As if I needed any more reasons to love Nigel Slater - but there's another one!

  5. I know what you mean. Generally I like what I eat to have looked over a gate at some point, but there's summat about chickpeas... At least I know it's not just me!

    Our Nigsy - I could hug him till his bones crack!

  6. Lovely, full of flavor and easy to make - a win, win!
    Mary x

  7. I use a pinch of red pepper flakes to make this instead of the red pepper. I always leave out the ginger, too. Still delish.


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