Tea – steeped chickpeas

At any given time of the year, you can bet your last dollar that you can always find an entire shelf in my pantry dedicated to tinned chickpeas. Not only do I keep a life time supplier of these babies for their aqua faba, but recently I have discovered that a lot of Indian dishes that I have been coming across contain chickpeas.

My mum is a fan, but my dad he can’t place chickpeas, like lentils and potatoes, he can place where they would fit in his diet. Chickpeas however seem to have no place and that only means one thing… he does not like chickpeas.

For a man whose existence was dedicated upon what was being served for any given meal, he sure has a stubborn palate when it comes to what I serve him to eat. He can complain from the first bite right down the last one and then moan until the next meal and then hint about the meal he could not stomach for the entire week and then thanking me that he only has to eat this meal once in his life time, because apparently I do not repeat the same dish in the same year… which is 100% accurate… at least his right about something.

I took a break from the whole culinary part of life. Grief will do that to you and the fact that I took a three month break from everything that defined me and looked at my life under a microscope. I wasn’t really sure I was ever going to pick up a cookbook again, let alone a knife. But thanks to the parentals asking me what I planned on making for them to eat every day for those three months, I decided it was time to dust off the kitchen utensils and clean out the fridge that had not been stocked up in three months, let alone been cleaned… what a lovely smell.

To celebrate my small achievement by finally sitting down, reading a recipe, planning the week’s food menu and going grocery shopping, I decided it was time to add more cookbooks to my already every expanding collection.

After watching Nisha Katona on TV, I had no doubt in my mind that she was the perfect author to add to my collection.

It took just under two weeks to arrive at my doorstep, but boy was I ever excited to unwrap the box and page through her book, recipe after recipe of authentic Indian dishes.

The first dish, I decided to make was a dish I have never heard of before, but it contained ingredients that I already had in the pantry and it used my mother’s favourite thing in the world TEA… that women can drink tea like her life depended on it.

Let me just say they say a picture speaks a thousand words, well the picture in this book was no where close to my final product. My dish was darker, but I think it had to do with the clove powder and the tea, I used Glen tea and the recipe asked for breakfast tea… minus the colour, the dish was delicious, my dad loved it and my mother she ate the chickpeas, but left the gravy part of the dish. She is fussy that way. Let her see tomatoes on her plate and she will eat around the tomatoes or if she is throwing a tantrum because I am using her as a test subject she will downright refuse to eat the dish that contains tomatoes, even if it is a small piece, she will push it a way and ask for toast.

Parents I tell you.


  • 4 x tbsp. olive oil.
  • 1 ½ x tsp cumin seeds.
  • 2 x fresh bay leaves.
  • A few fresh curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 x onion, finely chopped.
  • 1 x tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 x tsp cumin powder.
  • 2 x tsp coriander powder.
  • 2 x tsp clove powder.
  • 1 x tsp cinnamon powder.
  • 2 x tsp chilli powder.
  • ¼ x tsp turmeric powder.
  • 2 x tomatoes, chopped.
  • 1 x tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed.
  • 4 x tbsp. strong tea.
  • 1 x tsp salt.
  • 1 x tsp castor sugar.
  • 200g x spinach, roughly chopped.
  • Fresh coriander, chopped to garnish.


  • Heat the oil in a pot.
  • Add the cumin seeds and allow to fry for a few seconds.
  • Add the onions, salt, bay leaves and curry leaves. Saute till the onions are soft.
  • Add the tomatoes, cover and cook till the tomatoes have released all their water and become mushy.
  • Add the sugar, spices, ginger garlic paste and give it a good stir.
  • Allow to cook for a few minutes.
  • Add the tea and mix.
  • Add the chick peas, cover and cook for 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Adding a little water if the food starts to stick.
  • Finally add the chopped spinach, cover and cook till wilted.
  • Remove from the heat and garnish with the coriander

Tell me what you think of this recipe