This was my first time cooking with black garbanzo beans, and I loved them in this slow cooker curry that’s vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, low-glycemic, and South Beach Diet Phase Two. Use the Recipes-by-Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.
For my birthday in December my blogging and real-life friend Lydia sent me some black garbanzo beans, an ingredient I had never seen before I got them in the mail. I was intrigued and immediately started looking on the internet and in cookbooks for ideas of how to cook this type of bean. I settled on this Slow Cooker Vegan Black Garbanzo Bean Curry from The Indian Slow Cooker where the unsoaked beans were put in the CrockPot and cooked on high for 9 hours with water and a ground mixture of seasonings and Indian spices. (Yes, that is supposed to say 9 hours on high.)
The final recipe I ended up was delicious but may not be all that authentic, because when I tasted the mixture after 9 hours it was a bit spicy for my tastebuds, so I added a can of tomatoes and some green onions and simmered it an hour more. Cilantro and a little lemon juice is stirred in at the end. I loved the chewy texture and the savory, almost nutty flavor of the black garbanzo beans.
I do my Meatless Monday posts late on Sunday so they’ll be there when people get up on Monday morning, and as you probably realize, there was a big football game tonight and I’ve been at my brother Mark’s house eating, talking to the babies, and photographing the food while everyone else was watching the game. Luckily I had most of this written earlier in the day while I simmered some chili to take to the party!
Here’s the package the black garbanzos came in. Mine were more brown than black, but from pictures on the internet I see some varieties are darker than this.
And here’s a close up of the cute little beans. They are smaller than regular garbanzos and are much chewier when they’re cooked. They also cook more quickly than regular garbanzos, so if you want to try this recipe with regular garbanzos, they will take even longer to cook.
Combine chopped onion, chopped tomato, minced ginger, minced garlic, cayenne, cumin seeds, turmeric, chile powder, and salt in a food processor and process into a paste. (I used the bowl attachment of my immersion blender.)
Then put the beans, spice paste, and 4 cups of water into a slow cooker and cook on high for 9 hours. I increased the water a bit from the original recipe, because mine were quite dry after about 6 hours, if you’re not planning to add the extra tomatoes at the end you could probably use another 1/2 cup of water.
Here’s how the beans looked after 9 hours on high. As you can see, they absorb a lot of water!
I used an old-fashioned potato masher to mash some of the beans. You could puree them even more if you wanted a thicker mixture. At this point the beans were tasty, but very spicy for me even though I used the smaller amount of cayenne.
I added a can of petite diced tomatoes and some sliced green onions and simmered this for a couple more hours to tone down the heat. (If you like it spicy you might want to skip this step.)
And here’s my finished product after a couple more hours of cooking.
I ate this over brown rice, with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt on top, but obviously skip the yogurt for vegan.
Slow Cooker Recipe for Vegan Black Garbanzo Bean Curry
(Makes 4-6 servings, depending on what else you eat it with. Recipe adapted from The Indian Slow Cooker.)
I used a 3.5 quart slow cooker for this recipe, and it could have been slightly smaller.
1 1/2 cups dried black garbanzo beans (or use regular garbanzo beans, but they will require a few hours longer to cook)
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh tomato (I used cherry tomatoes)
2 tsp. minced ginger root
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 – 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (I used 1/2 tsp. and it was very hot so I’m not sure I’d recommend using the full amount unless you really like it spicy!)
1 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. chile powder
2 tsp. salt (or less)
1 can petite dice tomatoes (optional)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (optional)
3-4 T chopped fresh cilantro
1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
Pick over the garbanzo beans, removing any broken ones or debris found in the beans, and wash beans if needed.
Using a food processor or the bowl attachment of an immersion blender, puree together the onion, fresh tomatoes, minced ginger, minced garlic, cayenne, cumin seeds, turmeric, chile powder, and salt. Put the paste mixture in the slow cooker with the beans and 4 cups of water and cook on high for about 9 hours, or until beans are soft. (They will still be slightly chewy when they’re done. I would start to check after about 6 hours and see if you want to add more water.)
When beans are done, taste for seasoning. You can eat the curry at this point, but it was too spicy for me so I added the can of tomatoes and sliced green onions and cooked for about 1 hour more on high. When it’s done to your liking, stir in the chopped cilantro and lemon juice. Serve hot, over brown rice if desired.
South Beach Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / Low-Carb Diet Suggestions:
Dried beans are approved for any phase of the South Beach Diet, but they’re limited to 1/3 to 1/2 cup serving size for Phase One. I’d probably eat this for phase two so you can have some brown rice with the curry. This should work for other low-glycemic eating plans, but it’s too high in carbs for a stricter low-carb diet.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn’t have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.
More Great Recipes with Garbanzo Beans:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)