oh, chickpeas, how I love thee

It’s Saturday night and BugLite and I are at home on our laptops doing our own things, so I’ve decided to post up tonight’s dinner recipe. It’s a mix of a few different recipes that I’ve put together to make what I like to call ‘pumpkin and chickpea, plus three!’ – the ‘plus three’ being red onion, Israeli couscous and spices, which are the three other core ingredients that make this dish, everything else, is a bonus and added to taste.

You will need the following:

  • chickpeas – a cup of dried prepared beforehand, or a can
  • quarter of any pumpkin (I use QLD blue)
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • half a capsicum
  • coriander, to taste
  • half a cup Israeli coucous
  • vegetable stock
  • quarter of a cup of pinenuts
  • 1 tbs tumeric
  • 1 tbs smoked paprika
  • chilli powder, to taste (I use a tablespoon of the very hot stuff)
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked pepper, to taste
  • quarter of a cup olive oil (sometimes less)

Preheat oven to 200degC. I have a fan force gas oven, so I’m not sure what this will be in other ovens.

Cut pumpkin into 1cm slices and the onion and capsicum into quarters. Place all the ingredients and the garlic clove into a baking tray and cover with the spices (tumeric, smoked paprika, chilli, salt, pepper) and olive oil. Use your hands to distribute this love all over those veggies. Go on, just massage those spices in, mmmm… Place in the oven until pumpkin is tender. This is about 20-25mins in my oven, it may be longer in others.

While this is cooking, prepare the Israeli couscous. This is usually a 1:2 ratio – one part Israeli couscous, 2 parts water/stock. Simmer on low heat for 10-15 mins with the lid on, or until the Israeli couscous is tender. Set aside with the lid on.

If you’re having this with pinenuts, make sure they’re not salted, and I recommend dry roasting them. Set aside until time for construction.

If you’re using the canned chickpeas, drain the excess water and rinse before serving.

When the vegetables are ready, take them out and get ready for magic to begin.

Place the veggies in a large bowl, add the Israeli couscous, chickpeas and pinenuts. Take the garlic clove, smash and mush with the back of the knife, and add to the rest of the ingredients. Add the coriander, and then mix that baby up!

Here’s the one I made tonight:

chickpea dish

Serve with a garnish of coriander, and match it with a nice dry white wine. Bon appetit!



for the love of ramen

Since writing this post, I’ve come to realise that I may be slightly obsessed with ramen ever since watching Tampopo not so long ago. This post is dedicated to the humble, wholesome, and super delicious Japanese dish. I’m no ramen expert, but I judge the quality of the ramen by the consistency and taste of the broth. The essentials (according to my own tastes) are nori, pork slices and a boiled egg on top of the noodles and broth, anything else is a lovely surprise. So I now present to you my preferences of ramen both in Brisbane and Sydney.

If you’re expecting some long, intricately detailed, adjective embellished explanation of each place/ramen, think again! I’m not a food expert, I just have epicurean tastes, even in street food :) Browse the pictures and be inspired to try them out!

1. Taro: 363 Adelaide St BRISBANE QLD Open 1130-1500, 1730-2100 approx. $15+ extra for toppings and extra pork.¬†What is not to love about this place? Well, some may argue the price of ramen, but still, slow-cooked Bangalow sweetpork broth and Hakata style thin handmade noodles. Oh my goodness, this ramen tops my list every time! And always gets a visit when I’m back in Brisbane. The chef, Taro, knows his ramen, and knows how to make it well!Taro

2. Gumshara: 211/25-29 Dixon St HAYMARKET NSW Open 1130-2100 approx. $13 per bowl, $2+ for extra toppings and condiments. NOTE: Slow cooked pork brothy goodness. Seriously so much rich flavours in this dish, ask for it to be thinned down. It still tastes so delicious!Gumshara

3. Hakataya: Shop 27b Sunnybank Plaza Cnr Mains Rd and McCullough St SUNNYBANK QLD approx. $10 per bowl (note: no egg provided; however, double servings of pork and noodles available)Hakataya

4. Menya: Shop 2, 1 Market St SYDNEY NSW Open 1200-1500, 1800-2200 approx. $14+ per bowl.Menya

5. Ippudo: Shop 5021, Level 5, Westfield Shopiing Centre 188 Pitt St SYDNEY NSW Open 1100-2200 approx. $16+ per bowl, other Japanese food availableIppudo

6. Ryo’s Noodles: 125 Falcon St NORTH SYDNEY Open 1200-1400, 1700-2100 approx. $10+ per bowl, $2+ for extra toppings and condiments, other Japanese food available. Sorry, no picture available. It was deleted in the great iPhone reformatting debacle.

7. Zenya Noodle Bar: 217 Rowe St EASTWOOD NSW Open 1130-1500, 1730-2130 approx $10+ per bowlZenya

8. Ichiraku Japanese Noodle Bar: Shop 2, 4A Hillview Rd EASTWOOD NSW approx. $10+ per bowlIchiraku

N.B. This post was by no means endorsed by any of the above mentioned establishments. This is purely for my love of ramen.

Happy eatings everyone! What’s for your dinner tonight?