Eat pulses – appeal by master chef for World Food Day

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A wonderful recipe –  Moroccan Pulse Dip:
For World Food Day 2016:

©Chef Michael Smith


All over the world pulses – dried beans, lentils, chickpeas and dried peas – are a basic family cooking staple. These edible seeds of the legume family are prized by cooks everywhere for their amazing nutritional profile, flavour, affordability and ease of preparation. And, farmers prize them too. Pulses are sustainably grown and actually give back to the soil. Throughout the Mediterranean, pulses often star in simple dips served with hearty rustic breads. In honour of World Food Day 2016, feel free to use your favourite pulse. Just by using pulses, you’re doing something good for your health and the health of the planet. You’ll impress yourself in your own kitchen with your global savvy!

Makes enough for 8 people as a starter or 4 as a main course

Choose your favourite pulse:

2 cups of dried chickpeas or beans
2 cups of dried green lentils
2 19-ounce cans of lentils, beans or chickpeas

For the stew

1 shredded onion
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of ginger powder
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of paprika
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of cumin
1 teaspoon (5 mL) of turmeric or curry powder
1 teaspoon (5 mL) of cinnamon
1 teaspoon (5 mL) of black pepper
1 teaspoon (5 mL) of salt
2 ripe tomatoes, grated through the largest holes of a standard box grater, skin discarded
2 heaping tablespoons (18 mL) of tomato paste
a handful of tender parsley or oregano leaves and stems, lightly chopped
1 loaf of rustic whole-grain bread for tearing and sharing

  • Ready your pulse choice. If you choose dried chickpeas or beans soak them overnight in lots of cold, clear water than drain well and proceed. In a hurry? You can simply cover the pulses with water, boil for a minute or so, turn off the heat and soak the works for just an hour before draining and proceeding. Dried lentils don’t need soaking and are ready to go as soon as you measure them. For canned pulses, rinse and drain well but omit 4 cups of the water.
  • Measure the pulses, seasonings, tomatoes and tomato paste into a medium sauce pan. Add 8 cups of water for dried chickpeas or beans, 6 cups for dried lentils and just 2 cups for canned pulses. Over medium high heat, while stirring gently, bring the works to a full furious boil. Adjust the heat lowering the pace to a slow steady simmer.
  • Cover tightly and continue cooking until the pulses are tender and delicious. Figure just 10 minutes or so for canned pulses, about 30 minutes for lentils and an hour or so for chickpeas and beans.
  • Turn off the heat and rest for 10 minutes or longer as you ready the rest of your meal. At the last minute stir in the parsley. Pour the dip into a large festive bowl or several smaller ones. Serve and share with lots of rustic bread for tearing and dipping.

Pulse Tips

Legumes are seeds thus they have a protective coating that toughens when exposed to acidic ingredients. Too sour and they simply won’t cook tender. But a little bit of sour from a tomato helps that same protective skin toughen up just a little bit so it can cook and absorb all the flavours of Morocco without turning to mush! – CNW

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