Friday, 9 September 2011

Armenian Casserole

Whilst down South, we spent a few good days at my parents in Wales.  We were really spoiled for good, home cooked grub: ranging from savoury rice, pakoras and samosas to sweet rasmalays and mango ice-cream.  Every thing we ate was really delicious, but I have to admit I am sorta glad to be back in my own kitchen as my stomach really needs a little break, mostly from the deeply intense rich and heavily spiced red sauces. 

This afternoon I opted to make this 'sweet savoury chickpea casserole', again much like yesterday soba noodle dish this recipe relies a lot of store cupboard ingredients.  The tomato sauce is really light and delicately flavoured.  Sweetness comes from the apricots and sultanas and nuttiness from the chickpeas.  I guess you can eat it just as it is, straight from the bowl, but we enjoyed it with plain couscous. 
This recipe is inspired by one of my Scottish University friends who also happened to be of Armenian heritage and introduced me to some aspects of Armenian cuisine. 
Armenian-Style Chickpea Casserole
Serves 4
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, finely sliced
2 - 3 cloves garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ ground cinnamon
1 x 400g tinned tomatoes, chopped
About 2 pints of vegetable stock
1 x 400g canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
80g dried apricots, quartered
50g sultanas
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wide pan and fry the onions and garlic until soft, then stir in the ginger, cumin and cinnamon and cook for a couple of minutes for the spices to coat the onions. 
Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for a few minutes for the sauce to thicken, then pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.  Finally stir in the apricots, sultanas and chickpeas and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes.  Serve with couscous or rice.  This casserole is best made a day in advance for the flavours to mellow.  It reheats well too.


  1. Thanks - I'd love a bowl of that tonight. Not sure that I'll be making it, but I'll admire from afar. cheers Wendy

  2. I love sultanas in savory cooking, it's such a nice flavor. Is that what makes this Armenian?

  3. Please tell me you got your mums recipe for carrot halva??!!

    P.S. The stew looks wonderful!

  4. Thank you Wendy.
    I still have some, do you want me to orb it over :)

    Thanks foodfeud.
    I have to be honest, I'm not 100% sure what makes it Armenian, other than the recipe has probably evolved in my friends home.

    Hi Elise.
    Your gonna give me a virtual kick when I tell you I didn't get my mums recipe for carrot halva. :( Please forgive me .I can ask her, but she doesn't measure things, so I will have to watch her make it. I will try and get her to make me some the next time I am there so I can take notes. I will have one problem though, she cooks in large quantities too.


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