Thursday, August 5, 2010

Chickpeas with Coconut Sauce

Welcome to Guest Post Spotlight Thursday

This week I am privileged to introduce a talented cook and writer. Joanne from Eats Well With Others is the hardest working woman in blogging, contributing to 3 different blogs, all the while attending medical school. I like Joanne’s style because she has something to say and is not afraid to say it. Her writing is smart, witty, humorous, and full of top notch culinary information.

Please check out, Eats Well With Others, I promise you will find a new quality blog to follow.



Idiot’s guide to making good first impressions: first dates, guest posts, and on-line dating profiles. A top ten list. By me.



1. Talk about yourself but not too much. Sharing is caring. But no one really wants to know how much pumpkin you eat on a daily basis or that your favorite part of medical school thus far has been dissecting a cadaver. In fact. Don’t mention cadavers. Or medical school. At all. They are buzzkills. Mention pumpkin. But only because it is a dealbreaker. If the reaction to pumpkin is one of shock and horror, then politely excuse yourself. And run.

2. Talk about yourself but not too little. Remember your med school essays and how you had to somehow figure out a way to explain how the fact that your favorite color is green will make you a good physician someday? All while being modest and vague; talking about yourself without actually talking about yourself? That’s a skill. Cultivate it.

3. Mention cupcakes. People like cupcakes. People are endeared to cupcakes. The way to anyone’s heart. Is through cupcakes.

4. Do not mention how much you really like the taste of tofu. Unless, of course, you are guest posting on a vegan blog. Or your first date has suggested you meet at the latest, trendiest raw food bar in NYC. Then maybe you should mention tofu every thirty seconds. Buy a watch. Set a timer. Trust me.

5. Don’t talk about the Real Housewives of New York like you know them. I know you think you know them. I know you cried during the wedding episode of Bethenny Getting Married? (okay, maybe that was slightly irrational. But did you see that red velvet cake? Totally cry-worthy.) And maybe you walk aimlessly up and down the streets of the upper east side every weekend hoping for a Jill and Ramona sighting. But these are bad habits. I hear they make patches for things like this.


6. Be succinct. Sure you can ramble on aimlessly over at your own blog. Wax poetic about peanut butter for pages on end and hope that it will be tolerated. But most men (and readers) like women of mystery. Leave them wanting more. Remember what your mother always told you – why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free. Maybe not entirely relevant, but good words to live by, nonetheless.

7. Don’t talk politics. In the food world, this means not mentioning the fact that you like vanilla better than chocolate. In New York City, this means not mentioning the fact that you are a Red Sox fan.

8. Give them something familiar. Something they know and love. Something that will make them feel safe. Chickpeas, for example, which have permeated just about every culture in some shape or form. Are a good option. Squid, on the other hand, is not a good option. Avoid it at all costs.

9. Give them something unique. Make yourself indispensible. Stray from the ordinary. Use black garbanzo beans. Tamarind. Coconut. Dabble in exotica.

10. Most importantly, be yourself. Because what better way is there to end than on a cliché, right?


Chickpeas with Coconut Sauce
Serves 4, adapted from Lisa’s Kitchen

1 ¼ cups dried chickpeas (black, white or a mix of the two)
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp yellow split peas
1 ½ tbsp coriander seeds
¼ tsp cumin seeds
4 dried red chiles
¼ cup tamarind paste
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground turmeric
3 dried curry leaves
½ cup dried unsweetened coconut
¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped

1. Rinse and soak chickpeas overnight in enough water to cover them. Drain, transfer to a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce a simmer and cook until the chickpeas are soft – one and a half to two hours. Drain and set aside.

2. Reconstitute the dried coconut by combining it with a half a cup of boiling water. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Drain in a sieve and press out excess liquid. Set aside.

3. Heat the oil over medium heat. When hot, add the split peas, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and dried chiles. Stir and fry until the split peas and seeds turn reddish brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, transfer to a spice grinder and process until finely ground.

4. Return the pan to the heat. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, add the cooked chickpeas, along with the salt, turmeric, and curry leaves. Stir a few times. Add in the tamarind and a few tbsp of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally for roughly ten minutes.

5. Remove from heat, stir in the ground spices, coconut, and chopped cilantro.

Check out Eats Well With Others for more.


  1. Really a splendid combination chickpeas with coconut, never tasted together.
    Point 10 is fundamental to have a unique voice at the blog world ;-)

    Delicious and helpful guest posts Joanne and Lazaro!



  2. I <3 Joanne! She is hilarious!!! and she's also an adventurous cook, smart funny, and witty. I adore this post!

  3. Hi Joanne

    It's a pleasure to read your post! Rib tickling and inspired! I have to agree about cupcakes and chickpeas ;)

    Laz - thanks for bringing the very engaging Joanne to our attention!

  4. Love Joanne's blog...always puts big smiles on my face. Love her humour. I'm at last convinced that medicine & cooking goes well together....and oh...running, too :D Thanks for all the wonderful tips and a lovely, healthy dish.

  5. chickpeas are so under rated here. Never have I tasted a dish with them. They are mostly consumed by those following microbiotics. Must give them a try!

  6. this is sound so good, will check out more.

  7. Joanne,

    Thank you for sharing your talent with us. Interesting, well written and witty. Love the recipe. Fantastic combo of flavors.


  8. Oh Lazaro thanks SO MUCH for having me! I am honored to be numbered among your other FABULOUS guest posters!

  9. fabulous recipe, amazing flavor here, well done!

  10. Great advice Joanne. You certainly have turned ordinary chickpeas into something exotic. Plus gorgeous pictures too. It's lovely to meet you. Thanks Lazaro for another fantastic guest host.

  11. We always buy chickpeas to make hummus, but now it's great to know I can use them for something else! So much protein, in such a little food. My daughter will love this recipe! Thanks so much!

  12. Oh, this looks like something I'd love! I bet my husband would eat it, too.
    It would require a lot of ingredient purchases for me, but it might be well worth it. If i had extra and could have it for lunch at work the next day, I'd be so darned happy with myself!

    Fun post to read. Thanks!

  13. Joanne you are such a hoot. thanks for the laugh, and the mouth watering chickpeas!

  14. All I want to talk about right now is this amazing dish! I've been trying to figure out some new dishes (along with the old) to serve to my eldest son who is joyfully spending ten days with us later this month. It has been a long time since we've had this much time together. I'm very happy to meet you and to explore your blog further.


  15. First of all this looks delicious! Chickpeas and coconut? Two of my favorite things!! Second, you are hilarious :) I'm heading over to your blog now.

    Lazaro, great job yet again... I always look forward to checking your blog :)

  16. Love the advice.. I have to admit I talk about the housewives like I know them- it's more fun that way! :) This dish looks amazing.. I love chickpeas, but I wish I felt the same way about coconut!

  17. Thanks for having Joanne as a guest poster, Lazaro - she's one of my very favorite bloggers and I always read her posts when I need a lift because she is so gol danged hilarious! And here, we have no exception. Great top 10 list, Joanne :) Leave it to you to take the humble chickpea and raise it to delicious, coconutty heights. Bravo!

  18. Hi Lazaro
    I love Joanne`s work and I am her follower too.
    Great dish and lovely colours ♥

  19. I love this - so often I feel like I've limited myself with my options for cooking with chickpeas, but this looks like a fantastic way to break out of the rut.

  20. OMG. This is hilarious and delicious guest post! Joanne, you cracked me up. I can't stop laughing as reading it!! I love reading all the 10 rules you created and the real housewives of New York flair :)

    Laz, you're right. She ain't afraid of expressing her thought. I like that! Thanks for another spotlight.

    The dish is full of exotic flavors. Love it!

  21. Hi Joanne,

    Funny post, had me laughing all the way through - loved it! I've blogged about my love for squid...teehee. Heard of the saying, "only real men wear pink"? Well how about, "only real eaters eat squid"? Ok I'm lame. Loved all the tips and your wonderful chickpea recipe. I'll eat almost anything with coconut. Your recipe sounds delicious! Thank you for sharing.


    Thank you for introducing us to Joanne, a witty and fun blogger. Loved reading this post.

  22. Joanne, what a fun and witty post, and for teaching me something new - that there are black chickpeas. Delicious sounding recipe as well, and I'm off to check out your blog. Lazaro, thanks once again for introducing me to another fine blogger - you do a fabulous job of picking guest posters!

  23. I love Joanne so much, Lazaro!! Thank you for featuring her! :-) This dish is absolutely fantastic. :-)

  24. Joanne, you always make me laugh! Seriously girl, med school? I am picturing you having your patients in stitches - literally and figuratively!

  25. Lazaro, Thanks for sharing Joanne with us...hahaha she is hilarious and fun blogger. Great post! Thanks :)

  26. Joanne, I love your writing. I'm actually sad it took me so long to find you 'cause you're so consistently entertaining!

    The chickpeas don't look half bad, either. ;)

  27. Ha Ha! Funny. Enjoyed this one and totally agree! Except for cupcakes - cupcakes really annoy me! I realize that is like saying I hate puppies or something!

  28. Wow this looks good... such a delicious way to do chickpeas... Joanne, we should meet in the city one day... if we can find time!!!

  29. Joanne gives some good advice (and some good eats!)! I love all the spices with the coconut in this dish!

  30. Hilarious post! Loved the tips and am still chuckling! And the recipe sounds complex and flavourful and healthy, YUM!!!
    Sorry I am so behind in my readings. We left for Paris mid-July and are currently in Belgrade. Not too much time to catch up - but I am trying.

  31. Hi Joanne,
    great intro to your wit and writing. LOVES! And the chickpeas look to-die-for. I just bought some recently. Guess what I'll be making???

    Hi Lazaro,
    thanks for introducing us to yet another fantastic food blogger. You have your finger on the pulse.

  32. Thanks for sharing Joanne's post and inspiration for the day, although I broke the rule about posting about squid maybe I'll post 2 cupcake recipes to make up for it, lol!

  33. I was totally entertained with this post and I love-love-love the garbanzo treatment.

  34. Wonderful recipe and one I will absolutely recreate! I am definately checking out your blog as well. Thanks for spotlighting another noteworthy blog Lazaro!

    PS...I only mentioned tofu AFTER I got the ring. He hesitated, tried to back-peddle a bit and then finally resigned himself to a life of culinary uncertainty. He's gained 25 pounds in the 6 years we have been married.

  35. Awesome and hilarious post! Oh - and a super yummy dish to boot. Nice.

  36. u r so funny!!! love to read your blog...
    chickpeas a fav...very indian dish indeed...v similar to how we make it...we use fresh coconut and lime juice instead of tamrind...u have inspired us to make some and post it...


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