Getting to know pulses – photo credit – Karen Anderson
My last CBC radio Alberta at Noon column was all about pulses (peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas). You can check the podcast out here. I’m out at the 10:25 mark in the show.
The United Nations declared 2016 The International Year of Pulses (IYP) because pulses are good for people, for soil and for the world. You can get involved in IYP by taking a pledge to eat pulses at least once a week for 10 weeks.
I decided to do this and once I started to pay attention I realized that I’ve already been eating peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas more than weekly for some time. It’s actually a lot easier than you might think.
I hope you’ll give the pulse pledge a try and to encourage you, this post shares two of my favourite pulse recipes – Mixed Vegetable Bhajias (pakoras) made with chickpea flour and Bharazi – pigeon peas in coconut cream. Both recipes are from the cookbook I co-authored with my beloved mentor Noorbanu Nimji called A Spicy Touch – Family Favourites from Noorbanu Nimji’s Kitchen. I’m thrilled to tell you that our beautiful 320 page cookbook just won an IPPY Silver Medal the Independent Publishers Book Awards based out of the United States and representing the English-speaking world.
There are a dozens of recipes in the book that include pulses or flour made from pulses. I hope you’ll enjoy the two I share here. Continue reading
Thanks to my friend Suzie Szmolyan Morrow for sharing this video with me so I can share it with you.
When I look at what Lentil Hunter chef Michael Smith finds on the table in Gujarat, I see the vivid food of my mentor Noorbanu Nimji and the recipes in our cookbook – A Spicy Touch – Family Favourites from Noorbanu Nimji’s Kitchen. When Noorbanu’s family emigrated from Gujurat to East Africa they took all those wonderful recipes with them. Noorbanu, in turn, brought them to Canada and she’s been teaching Canadians how to make them since 1974.
Since becoming her co-cookbook author, I’ve definitely become a serious pulse eater. When I travel in India each year, I eat pulses everyday and come home craving them. They really are easy, delicious and nutritious.
Give them a try and you’ll increase your health, support farming in Canada and increase the sustainability of the planet. This #IYP – International Year of the Pulse and all the recipes and stories that come with it sure are a great way to savour it all.
Great Alberta cookbook to help you increase your pulse intake – photo – Karen Anderson
from #pulsepledge dot com
There are some great recipes for cooking with pulses – peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas. Maybe you already have some; maybe you’re looking for inspiration. If you take the pulse pledge you can download a cookbook called Pulses – The Heart of Every Meal or you can buy an inspiring cookbook like Spilling the Beans by local authors Julie Van Rosendaal and Sue Duncan. It’s one of my favourites.
Beans are what 66 per cent of Canadians eat when they eat a pulse. Chickpeas are next with 53 per cent of us having eaten them in the last six months and lentils are lowest with only four out of 10 people having tried them.
I chose a few recipes from Pulses – The Heart of Every Meal to test and I’ll share them here. Two quick tips – if you are using canned pulses – rinse them thoroughly before using to remove sodium and never add salt when cooking pulses from their dried state as it makes them tough. Continue reading
If you don’t know what a pulse is, you are not alone. A 2010 study of 1100 Canadian households (sponsored by Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development and conducted by Ipsos Reid) concluded that most Canadians are unsure of what a pulse is. Take 20 seconds to watch the video above. It will tell you – very artistically – what a pulse is.
Pulses are beans, dry peas, lentils and chickpeas which are the edible seeds of pod-bearing legumes. They are a great ingredient for cooks. Pulses grow so well in Canada that we are the world’s largest producer and exporter of peas and lentils and they contribute over $3 billion annually to our economy.
This post will delve deeper into why the United Nations declared 2016 as the International Year of the Pulse and why they believe pulses are at the heart of health for people, land and our planet. It will also examine the pulse industry in Alberta and how you can participate in the International Year of the Pulse by taking a pledge to eat more pulses. Continue reading