Chickpeas with Ground Lamb (Kuzu Kıymalı Nohut)

Chickpeas are excellent source of vitamins in addition to being delicious. That’s one of the reasons why I like cooking with chickpeas year round. This meal is probably cooked more commonly during winter months, but in my opinion anything that is fresh and tastes good can be relished any time of the year. We had the chickpeas with ground lamb served with bulgur pilaf cooked with orzo pasta and it was just out of this world. If you’re not into lamb, ground beef or even chicken can be substituted without compromising the taste. Here is the recipe….

3 ¼ cup chickpeas
½ medium onion (chopped roughly)
2 cloves garlic (chopped fine)
1 lb ground lamb
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbps red pepper paste
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp ground dry mint
1 ½ tsp salt (adjust to your taste)
2 tsp white vinegar
3 cups water

Wash and soak chickpeas overnight. Drain and boil in a pot for about 30-35 minutes. The chickpeas should be soft, but not mushy after boiling.

Heat a skillet and cook the ground lamb until all the juices are released. Remove from heat and get rid of the juices in the pan.

In a large pot, heat olive oil on medium heat. Saute onions and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add the lamb and stir for less than a minute. Add chickpeas and cook for 5 minutes. Add water, red pepper paste, cumin, black pepper, dry mint, salt and vinegar.

Stir the ingredients in the pot and cook covered on medium heat for approximately 40 minutes. Make sure the chickpeas are soft to eat.

Serve with rice or bulgur pilaf.