Monday, October 22, 2012

Smashed chickpeas on naan with cilantro-mint chutney, #SeriousSandwich

Smashed chickpeas on naan with cilantro-mint chutney and raita. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books
From time to time, folks will ask me why I love cookbooks and cooking, and I find it difficult to say why or how they are interesting to me, they just are. From my first cookbook, The Winnie-the-Pooh Cookbook, to my newest, Emeril's Kicked-Up Sandwiches, I find stories and pictures that hold my attention. The dish above, Smashed Chickpeas on Naan with Cilantro-Mint Chutney and Raita, isn't pictured in the book, so I guess it was the idea of Indian spices and the tender flatbread known as naan that piqued my interest. With the added advantage of being a vegetarian entree, I was in, and the recipe did not disappoint, I could eat this any time of day.

Fragrant mustard seeds, garlic, fresh ginger, and crushed red pepper are sauteed with tomatoes, chickpeas and red bell pepper, then seasoned with turmeric, cumin, cardamom and coriander. The mixture is rough-smashed then served on flatbread with the cooling cucumber-yogurt mixture known as raita, and a coconut-milk based sauce flavored with cilantro and mint. It tastes as good as it smells.

I've written before that my world is small, but my kitchen is big. I'm an armchair traveler, and with the benefit of technology and some excellent cookbooks, I can bring the world into my kitchen. As for this dish, even though I didn't grow up with Indian food, and I live in a town without an Indian restaurant, I can taste a bit of the culture in my home.

And here are two more reasons why I've enjoyed cooking from "Emeril's Kicked-Up Sandwiches" - recipes with multiple components are concisely written, and esoteric ingredients are rare. I occasionally order spices from Penzeys, but I get weary of reading cookbooks that ask me to mail order or seek out specialty ingredients. And shopping at Whole Foods is not an option for me with my suburban supermarket choices, so Emeril's attention to readers with limited options is noted and appreciated.

Stay tuned for more great sandwiches from:

This post is part of #SeriousSandwich, a blogalong sponsored by Morrow Books,
marking the publication of

If you love cookbooks like I do, you gotta follow The Secret Ingredient Blog from Morrow Books.

Text and images copyright 2012, Lucy Mercer,
with the exception of the book cover; that belongs to Morrow Books.


Anonymous said...

Thrilled to have a picture of this dish! Looks great. Did you make or purchase the naan? Agree re Emeril's sensitivity to what's available in a typical suburban grocery store.

Lucy Mercer said...

I was so thrilled to buy the naan! It reminds me of the flatbread used for gyros, although a different shape. It's nice to have a recipe in which to use the naan!

Unknown said...

I'm going to mak that at the request of one of my guys at the firehouse, so because you made it look so good I'm making it, though i was going to make it anyway....he's a good

Unknown said...

wow, that sandwich looks great. This one definitely caught my eye when I was thumbing through the book. Will have to give it a try! :)

Kimberly said...

Umm ... there's a Winnie the Pooh cookbook? I must have this! I grew up reading the Winnie the Pooh books over and over and over!

I have to admit that I didn't remember this recipe from the book ... so glad you brought it to our attention!

Enlightenment said...

very nice pics