Baby Leeks for My Chickpeas

There is no better way to flavour a dish of chickpeas than a bunch of leeks …baby leeks! It is such a proud moment when you harvest your first leeks. Yes, I know they don’t look anywhere near the size that are seen in the shops but I’m calling mine baby leeks. I’m sure they’ll taste phenomenal!

Harvesting baby leeks from my kitchen garden

I planted these leeks as seedlings that I bought from a garden centre, in late summer last year. Some seedlings were planted in amongst the kale and purple sprouting broccoli and some on their own in another raised bed.

Tiny leek seedlings planted in between the kale and purple sprouting broccoli
Leek seedlings on the left, planted in late summer last year

The leeks seem to be a good overwinter crop and one I will definitely be trying again, particularly as there are few vegetables that can withstand the wet, freezing winters that we face here.

Leeks growing this spring

I have decided to celebrate my first harvest by adding these flavourful fresh leeks to my chickpeas, with a couple of handfuls of my green and purple kale.

Baby leeks and kale ready for my cooking today

Leeks need to be washed thoroughly as they tend to hold a little grit in the inner leaves. Once the kale and leeks are washed and drained, they simply need chopping before starting to cook. In this recipe, I have placed a pan on medium heat with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Once warmed, I have added black mustard seeds to the oil and allowed them to pop before adding my chopped leeks. The leeks only need a couple of minutes to be softened as they are so fresh and young. I then added some salt, turmeric powder, coriander-cumin powder, minced ginger and green chilli and allowed these spices to warm through before adding some tomato passata. You can use tinned tomato and of course fresh ripe tomatoes in summer!

Once this spiced sauce has cooked for about 5 minutes, I added some chickpeas which I had soaked the night before and boiled them till they were soft. I added some water to slaken the mixture and let it simmer for another 5 minutes. Just the chopped kale to be sprinkled on the top and then with the lid on, the kale steams inside and in another few minutes the dish is ready to enjoy!

Chickpeas with baby leeks and fresh kale

This dish tastes great with hot fluffy rice, … lunch is ready everyone!

Chickpeas with baby leeks and kale on a bed of hot fluffy rice


Chickpeas with Baby Leeks and Kale

A fresh twist to chickpeas with baby leeks and kale which makes an ideal meal with some hot fluffy rice!

  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas ((1 and 1/2 cups raw chickpeas soaked overnight) and cooked)
  • 4 baby leeks (washed, drained and chopped)
  • 2 handfuls young green or purple kale leaves (washed, drained and chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds ((optional))
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced green chilli ((more if you’d like it spicier))
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin-coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt ((or to taste))
  • 1/2 cup tomato passata ((or equivalent of tinned tomatoes))
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  1. Place a pan on medium heat and add the olive oil to warm up. 

  2. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they finish popping before you add the chopped baby leeks. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes.

  3. Add the salt and all the spices, mix it through and allow to cook for a few minutes. 

  4. Then pour in the tomato passata, stir and allow to cook for about 5 minutes. The tomato mixture is cooked when the oil starts separating at the edges of the sauce in the pan.

  5. Now add the cooked chickpeas and any cooking liquid plus 1/2 cup of hot water. Cook for another 5 minutes. 

  6. Place the chopped kale leaves on top of the chickpeas and cover the pan with a lid to allow the kale to steam – this will only take a few minutes if the kale is young. 

  7. Lift the pan lid and give the chickpeas a mix before serving it with rice as a great accompaniment. Enjoy!

You can use 2 tins of chickpeas if you are short of time for this recipe.

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