Mushroom and Chickpea Balti

In my weekly trip to the local second hand bookstall I recently picked up a new cookbook, entitled Balti: The complete cookbook, by Lynette Baxter. To be honest, I’m not very impressed with it, but at two pounds if I get one recipe from it that I cook on a regular basis then I’ll be satisfied with my purchase.

The following is approximately from it. The ingredients list bears a passing resemblance to a recipe of the same name in the book (I forget how much resemlance it actually bears – I didn’t do much more than scan the recipe). I’m pretty sure the actual cooking method doesn’t. It needs some work, but given that it will probably prove to be a nice easy recipe to cook when I don’t feel like putting much effort into it.

What I used:

1 Red Onion
3 cloves garlic
5 smallish tomatoes
2 cans of chickpeas
250g closed cap mushrooms.
1 fresh birds eye chilli
1/2 cup water
Sunflower oil
Brown sugar
1tsp Fenugreek seeds
2tsp Cumin seeds
1tsp Cardamon seeds
2tsp whole black peppercorns
1cm of cinnamom stick

What I did:

I began pretty much as usual. Toasted the spices, ground them up in a mortar and pestle and then put them aside. I then chopped up the onion and garlic quite finely and fried it with a bit of salt and sugar in the oil. After about 5-10 minutes I added the spice to the mix and continued frying.

While that was frying I cleaned the mushrooms and chopped them up fairly coarsely. After the onions had been frying with the spices for a few minutes I added them and continued frying until the mushrooms were fairly well cooked, stirring it pretty thoroughly so that the mushrooms were properly coated with the spice and onion mix.

Meanwhile I chopped the tomatoes and, once the mushrooms were cooked, added them to the mix. I turned up the heat and let it fry for a few more minutes then added half a cup of water and simmered until the tomatoes had reduced to a sauce. I drained the chickpeas, added them to the mix and stirred thoroughly, letting it cook for another five minutes or so. The end result was enough sauce to coat the chickpeas, but not enough that they were swimming in it.

So, pretty much what you’d expect given the ingredients list. I think it’s not what was suggested in the cookbook, but clearly my way is better. :-)


This was pretty good, but the spice mix was a bit odd. It didn’t quite work. I think it needed to lose the cinnamon and possibly include some mustard seeds, coriander and more cumin.

I served it simply over brown rice. It could probably use some sort of simple vegetable side dish to go with it.

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