I enjoy eating a variety of ethnic foods and I love cooking them in my kitchen because it’s a way for me to feel like I’m traveling around the world while remaining in the comfort of my own home. If you’re not familiar with my blog, just take a peak at my recipe index and you’ll see what I mean. I haven’t made many middle eastern recipes (although I have made the same Hummus a bazillion times) so I thought I’d venture out and try something new.
This sweet and savory meal is warm and comforting, ideal for this time of year. The spices in the tomato chickpea sauce are reminiscent of middle eastern cuisine and it’s paired with a slightly sweetened fig infused rice.
Tomato Chickpeas Over Dried Fig Infused Rice Recipe
(About 4 servings)
Ingredients for the Dried Fig Infused Rice:
- 1 cup white rice, uncooked
- 3 dried figs, finely chopped
Ingredients for the Chickpea Tomato Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1 scallion, chopped
- 1/2 green pepper, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 and 1/2 cups crushed tomato
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon basil
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1 (16 ounce) can chickpeas
Directions for the Dried Fig Infused Rice:
- Cook the rice according the instructions on the package.
- Once the rice is done cooking, stir in the chopped figs and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
Directions for the Chickpea Tomato Sauce:
- In a medium skillet, on Medium heat, heat the olive oil and cook the chopped onion, scallions and green peppers for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in the chopped garlic and cook for another 1 minute.
- Stir in the crushed tomatoes and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook it for an additional 5 minutes.
- Season with the salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, basil, and oregano.
- Stir in the chick peas and cook it for an additional 10 minutes or until the mixture is thick.
Store it in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
The great thing about cooking rice is that once you get it in the pot, you don’t have to do anything with it until it’s done. Wahoo, it’s time to multi task. I made this recipe in about 30 minutes because you can easily make the chickpea sauce while the rice is doing its thing.
Initially, the tomato sauce will look slightly thin, but it will thicken up a bit as it cooks. Oh man, my kitchen smells amazing from all those aromatic spices.
The sauce is a smooth tomato based sauce. It reminds me of a traditional pizza sauce with a middle eastern twist. Cumin is a popular ingredient in Indian food. In fact it’s in almost all curry powder spice mixes.
I love chickpeas. They’re a great source of protein and fiber and add a great texture to any meal. For those that prefer to leave meat out of their diet, this dish is an awesome vegetarian option. Plus, it’s healthy too! Bonus.
The tomato chickpea sauce tastes yummy over white rice, but the dried figs in the rice really kick it up a notch. (Who knew I’d like figs in something other than Fig Newtons?) They make the rice slightly sweet and a little crunchy from the seeds. That takes rice to a whole new level. Your taste buds will go crazy experiencing the sweet and savory flavors simultaneously in one fabulous dish.
I sprinkled some fresh parsley on top. It adds more great herb-y flavor and compliments the other flavors going on here.
I hope you’ve enjoyed “traveling” with me through my food! Where should we go next? 😉
Adapted from: Glow Kitchen
Easy Hummus and pita bread would be a great appetizer to serve before this meal.