Fast, easy, delicious? Sign me up for Chickpea Burritos
Recently I was reading an article about the bogus quest for authentic food. This really struck a chord with me, because food changes all the time. New ingredients become available, new flavour combinations become possible. Globalisation has meant that, now, perhaps more than ever, ingredients, ideas and exposure to new food occurs very quickly. This is not exactly a new thing, try to imagine Polish or Irish cuisine without the potato; Italian food without tomatoes; Indian food without chillies. Authenticity is always debatable anyway – Australians can even make the best south German style beer…
Still, one thing that CIA and I both absolutely love is burritos. It’s probably something to do with food you can pick up and eat (no cutlery to wash!). This is more true than ever as we are without a dishwasher (or a child, who can be made to wash dishes*). So anyway, delicious, vegetarian burritos that will always hit the spot can be found right here. They may not really be authentic (but then again, maybe they are? who adjudicates this sort of thing anyway?).
What you need…
An onion; some garlic; 1 tsp dried chilli; 1 tsp dried paprika; 2 tsp ground cumin; olive oil; 400g tin tomato puree; 400g tin chickpeas; 400g tin corn; fresh coriander; tortillas; lettuce; cheese; fresh tomatoes
Chop the onion and garlic, then fry them gently in a pot in the oil. When they are softened nicely, turn the heat down, and add the spices. Stir them around a little, before adding the tomato puree. Tomato paste is also fine, but if you do use tomato past, make sure you add about the same amount of water as paste, to make sure the whole thing is not too thick.
Heat this slowly. When the mixture is simmering nicely, add the chickpeas and corn. Make sure you stir reasonably often – if you don’t pay attention this is the kind of mixture that can get stuck to the pan.
Whilst this is simmering, chop the coriander up. Add about half to the mixture. If you don’t like coriander, then that’s a pity. But still, you can totally leave it out.
Next, chop up the lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. If you live a country where the cheese is able to be grated, then do feel free to grate it instead – it melts better that way.
We’re getting down to the fun part now. If you are eating on your own, or just with your family, you probably don’t really need to worry about presenting everything in nice little bowls.
On the other hand, if you are having people around, and want to completely impress them, then do consider placing everything in bowls, and if it’s a sunny evening, taking everything outside and enjoying a great meal in the sun*.
With very little effort you can get a nice visual effect, something like this:
At this stage, instructions start to sound dumb. I know they do, because I started writing them, and then felt like I was insulting my own intelligence — I certainly don’t want to insult anyone else’s intelligence, particular yours, dear reader.
Put everything in the burrito, in sufficient quantities to satisfy your taste buds, but not in such quantities that your burrito explodes as you try to eat it (though, it is true, if the burrito is over-stuffed, it is entertaining for others to watch you try to eat it).
Photos by CIA, burrito construction by PJD
* I survived this parenting approach, so did my sister.
** Incidentally, this goes really well with beer in general, but Mexican beer in particular, and we’ve tried many.