Shour Nakhod (Chickpeas in a Mint Sauce)

Shour means "salty." This tasty snack is one of the wares sold by street vendors in the bazaars of towns and cities. The cooked chickpeas are mounded on a large platter. The customer is served with a portion of chickpeas on a small plate or in a small bowl. The mint dressing is generously sprinkled over them. A similar dish is made with red kidney beans.

For chickpeas
8 ounces chickpeas
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
For the dressing
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1  large sprig of mint, finely chopped
1 pinch cayenne pepper
Soak the chickpeas in the 5 cups water for several hours or overnight. Put the chickpeas, with their soaking liquid, in a bowl and add the baking soda. Bring to a boil, skimming off any froth which may form. Boil for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer slowly on a low heat until the chickpeas are soft but still retain their shape and the liquid has reduced, just leaving a thickened juice in the bottom of the pan. The length of this time varies; it can take 3 to 4 hours or more. The secret of this dish really lies in cooking the chickpeas very slowly, stirring from time to time to keep them moist.

Carefully stir in the salt. Leave the chickpeas to cool in their juices. When cooled stir carefully to coat all the chickpeas with the thickened juice.

Meanwhile, mix all the dressing ingredients together with 2 tablespoons of water. Then sprinkle the dressing liberally over the chickpeas, mix it in gently, and sprinkle with more salt, according to taste.

Ease of Preparation: Moderate

Preparation Time: 15 min
soak chickpeas overnight

Cook Time: 4 hrs

Servings: 4

Recipe By: Helen Saberi

From:  Afghan Food & Cookery
Used with permission of Hippocrene Books