Chickpea Tandoori with Rice
By Patrik Baboumian (@patrikbaboumian)
The first time I had this dish was over five years ago at an Indian restaurant in Charlottenburg, Germany. My wife Katy and I went there together – and since then, we’ve taken several others and have frequented the restaurant countless times, largely because I had fallen in love with this meal. It reminds me of my mom and my Persian roots growing up in Iran, which influences a lot of the meals we make today. In our house, our meals tend to be a blend of Chinese, Asian, sometimes Indian and Persian flavors, with some German recipes sprinkled in that Katy brings from her background.
I was born in Iran, but ethnically I’m Armenian – so when it comes to food, my whole family is very influenced by the Persian cuisine. Growing up, I remember a lot of stews with legumes and a number of meat dishes. But what I always thought was cool is that even though meat was used in most of the dishes, the meat was rarely the main focus – it doesn’t play the leading role. So, when I decided to go vegetarian, it made my transition a lot easier because meat was purely a source of protein. Removing meat from the dishes I grew up eating didn’t change the integrity of the meal or the taste; all I needed to do was find an alternative protein, like chickpeas.
Katy and I fully embrace the vegan lifestyle – and this dish is one of our staple menu items. It’s everything I love in a good meal – delicious, easy-to-make and full of protein. Just writing about it now makes me really hungry for it! The way this dish is traditionally made often contains ghee – or dairy fat – but to make it vegan, we substitute the ghee with both coconut milk and a plant-based margarine like Rama to achieve the same level of fat content throughout the dish.
When it comes to cooking, we prioritize keeping our meals interesting and making the cooking process a great experience – all of which is captured in this recipe. I hope you enjoy making (and eating) this meal as much as I do!
DID YOU KNOW? Chickpeas are a type of legume that have a much lower carbon footprint compared to most meat-based protein sources. Using chickpeas instead of beef in 4 servings of Patrik’s recipe saves 133 kg CO2-eq. This is the carbon footprint equivalent to cycling 534 km rather than driving an average petrol car.
*Based on published research
Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers, by J. Poore & T. Nemecek. 2018
For more information see https://upfield.com/purpose/environmental-footprint/