Healthy Vegan Chickpea Mafe from Senegal

Born in Brooklyn, NY, the youngest in a tight family of five, Chef Grace says that she inspired by two things: the warm, soulful, and bright flavors of the cuisine of her parent’s native land of Nigeria and her family’s church. One connected her to her culture and the other connected her to her faith: the two most important things in her life and the building blocks for Dining With Grace, her Pan-African Cuisine and Catering business. 

Below, Grace shares this healthy Senegalese-inspired vegan dish that she made while visiting her parents who were vegan newbies.  The chickpeas were stewed in a turmeric-rich peanut and coconut stew, a truly delicious experience. 

ChickPea Mafe

Prep Time: 8 1/2 hours

Cook Time: 90 minutes

Serves: 4 people

chickpeas

INGREDIENTS

2 cups chickpeas dried, organic

2 tbsp olive oil Extra Virgin

2 cloves garlic minced

1 large yellow onion chopped    

1 inch ginger minced

2 scallion sliced

3 plum tomatoes chopped

1.5 tsp turmeric

1 can coconut milk

3 tbsp peanut butter

1 lime juiced

1 tsp Salt (Kosher or Sea Salt Preferred)

1 pinch Cayenne Pepper

1/2 cup cilantro minced

Warning:

This recipe is exceptionally easy and delicious but you do have to plan in advance  Trust me, it's worth it! The reason is this recipe uses fresh, dried chickpeas rather than the canned version. The taste and texture is amazing, not to mention all the amazing nutrients are salvaged from avoiding the canning process! **However, if time is limited, please do feel free to use canned peas! It is still a healthy, QUICK and delicious option! In a large bowl, add the 2 cups of dried chickpeas and 6 cups of water or enough to cover the chickpeas by 2 inches. Let chickpeas soak overnight, about 6-8 hours. Drain but do not discard any excess water. This same water can be used to cook the chickpeas. We are not losing ANY thing!

Cooking Instructions

  1. In a medium pot, boil the soaked chickpeas with the soaking water, Add a bayleaf and cook for 40 minutes or until cooked through but not too soft.

  2. In a large dutch pot or wok, heat the olive oil until hot then add the chopped onion, scallion, garlic and ginger. Season with salt to taste then add the chopped tomato and let simmer for about 3 minutes.

  3. Add the turmeric and stir (I use fresh turmeric root whenever I can but the powdered is just fine!).

  4. Add the can of coconut milk and stir well.

  5. Add the peanut butter, lime juice, salt and pepper and stir well. Let simmer for 5-7 minutes to allow flavors to combine. If too thick, feel free to add a little water to loosen. Soup should be rich but not too heavy.

  6. Add cilantro, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and enjoy! Feel free to top with chopped tomato, onion, peppers, spinach or any fresh vegetable of your choice!

Nutrition Facts:

Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans:  Great source of dietary fiber (great for colon health), folate and other trace minerals!

Coconut Milk:  Vitamin and mineral rich!  Vitamin C helps to boost immune system while fat-soluble vitamins E &B provide energy metabolism.

Peanut Butter:  Heart healthy with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties

Garlic, Onion & Ginger:  The holy trinity of West African Cooking =  antioxidants and minerals galore!

Turmeric & Cayenne:  Anti-inflammatory, aids increased metabolism, improves blood circulation and overall heart health!