One of those seemingly pointless discussions took place among the Curry Focus Team on receipt of a harmless-looking email.
The email asked if it was OK to use tinned chickpeas when making a curry, as opposed to soaking dry chickpeas and then using them in a curry.
One of the team said that there was no way that they would use chickpeas out of a tin but the majority said they couldn’t see any harm in doing this.
Most of the team are organised enough to remember to soak the chickpeas before they are needed.
The argument is a bit like the one that starts up when talking about using curry powder. Should you make your own curry powder or use one that you buy? Does it really matter as long as the result is a taste that you like and gives you a yummy curry?
Some people argue that using readymade curry powder, or tinned chickpeas, is not being authentic. But, really, so what? What is so great about working harder to produce the same result? It’s like saying that spices should be pounded in a mortar and pestle and not ground in a spice grinder – really, does it change the end result?
If you’re talking about cost then you would always probably go for dry chickpeas and then soaking them yourselves – buying dry chickpeas from out of a bulk bin in a local Indian shop is probably going to be cheaper than buying the equivalent amount in tins. A random, and pretty unscientific, survey found that tinned chickpeas were at least 20% more expensive than dry chickpeas.
Most of the Curry Focus Team likes eating good food made with cheap ingredients so will stay with soaking chickpeas before they are needed. But a couple of us will always have a couple of tins in the cupboard, in case of emergency.