ingredient highlight


A friend recently asked me for recommendations about what to do with chickpeas, so I threw together a very quick summary, which I thought might be useful to share with a wider audience.

I use chickpeas often, as they cook faster than other beans (still require an overnight soak though), and although cooking them fresh is flavour-optimal, I find the canned variety pretty decent when pressed for time.

By the way, the image shows some fresh, green chickpeas at a market in India… they make a great snack (like fresh peas)!

So, chickpeas, here we go!

Boiled: basic technique for 250g dried chickpeas. Soak them overnight in cold water, then drain, cover generously with new water, add 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam, turn down the heat and simmer gently until tender (can take anywhere between 15 minutes and 1 hour). If storing for later use, can leave them in the cooking liquid, cool, and store in the fridge.

In salad: when you have good tomatoes, you don’t need to do much more than this. But here is something a little more elaborate (for a vegan version, use plant-based yoghurt or just leave it out), and a fancy-schmansy thing if you have a date to impress (for a vegan version, leave out the haloumi or substitute with fried tofu).

Stir-fried: Take the boiled chickpeas and do something along these lines. Not a tofu fan? Leave it out. Don’t know what kale is? Use spinach or any other leafy green thing. Not zucchini season? Use any other vegetable you like: green beans, tomatoes, aubergines, pumpkin, beetroot etc.

Blended: for basic hummus, you can’t go wrong with Ottolenghi.
Variations: for beetroot hummus, add some chopped cooked beetroot, more lemon, garlic and some chilli (beetroot goes well with a bit of spiciness). For roasted pepper hummus, blend in some roasted peppers 🙂 For lemon and parsley hummus, add a lot more lemon juice and some chopped fresh parsley. For walnut hummus, add some toasted walnuts instead of tahini, and pimp it with some spiced like ground cumin and coriander. Add smoked paprika for a wonderful smokey hummus…. etc etc

Roasted: toss the boiled chickpeas in the oven like so for a healthy, protein-y snack or salad topping.

Stewed: really easy stew (it says white beans, but chickpeas work just fine), or a more elaborate one for that date 😉

Patties: mmm burger. Can probably use other veggies if corn is not liked/available, e.g. grated carrots and celery.

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