5 Nutritious Recipes Using the Small but Mighty Chickpeas

Level up your protein intake by making the humble little chickpea a regular part of your meals
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Chickpeas or garbanzo beans or kabuli chana as is commonly known in India are legumes that are extensively used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. They come in many colours – green, black, red and brown; but the most commonly used is the beige one. Chickpeas have a nutty flavour and creamy texture and pair well with most ingredients. They can be had plain boiled or added to a gravy or transformed into a dip or cutlet. Whatever form it is consumed, it makes for a protein rich meal.

Falafel

Ingredients:

2 cups chickpeas, soaked overnight

2 green chillies

½ cup chopped fresh coriander

5-6 black peppercorns

Salt

2 tablespoons besan

Vegetable oil for frying

Method:

Drain the chickpeas and transfer them to a blender. Add green chillies, coriander leaves, peppercorns and salt to taste. Grind the mixture to a coarse paste. Add besan if required to bind the mixture. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Take lime sized portions of the chickpea mixture and shape them into balls. Drop them in the hot oil and deep fry until golden brown. Remove the falafels with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve falafel with pita bread, hummus and tahini sauce.

Achari chana pulao

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons mango pickle

2 tablespoons ghee

½ teaspoon asafoetida

2-3 cloves

2-3 green cardamom pods

1 inch cinnamon stick

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon ginger paste

½ cup soaked and boiled chickpeas

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

½ teaspoon chilli powder

½ teaspoon garam masala

Salt

1 cup basmati rice, soaked for 30 minutes

Method:

Grind the mango pickle to a coarse paste. Heat ghee in a pressure cooker. Add asafoetida, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and cumin seeds. When the spices begin to crackle, add ginger paste, chickpeas, turmeric powder, chilli powder, garam masala, salt to taste and ground pickle paste. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add drained rice and 3 cups of water. Mix well and pressure cook for 3 whistles. Serve achari chana pulao warm with curd and papad.

Chole tikki chaat

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

3 green chillies, finely chopped

2 boiled potatoes

1 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves, chopped

1 teaspoon amchur powder

1 tomato, chopped

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

1 tablespoon coriander powder

½ tablespoon cumin powder

2 tablespoons chilli powder

1 tablespoon garam masala

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 cups soaked and boiled chickpeas

Salt

1 cup whisked curd

½ cup date tamarind chutney

½ cup green chutney

½ cup fine sev

Method:

To make the tikkis, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and green chillies. When the spices begin to crackle, pour the tempering over the boiled and mashed potatoes. Add coriander leaves, amchur and salt to taste. Mix well. Take lime sized portions of the mixture and shape them into tikkis. Shallow fry on a tawa using oil until golden brown and crisp.

For the chole, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan. Add tomato and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add turmeric, coriander, cumin and chilli powders. Add garam masala, lime juice, chickpeas and salt to taste. Add water if requires and mix well. Let the chole cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Mash some of the chickpeas while they are cooking.

While serving, place the tikkis on a plate. Spread a ladle full of chole on it. Top it with curd and chutneys. Sprinkle sev and serve immediately.

Chickpea and mango pickle

Ingredients:

1 cup grated raw mango

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

½ cup chickpeas

1 tablespoon coarsely powdered fenugreek seeds

1 tablespoon coarsely powdered coriander seeds

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon asafoetida

8-10 dried red chillies

2 tablespoons red chilli powder

1 cup oil

Salt

Method:

Combine mango, salt and turmeric in a mixing bowl. Mix well and let it rest for an hour. Squeeze out the extra water from the mango mixture and refrigerate it. Soak the chickpeas overnight in the mango water. Combine the mango mixture with chickpeas, fenugreek and coriander seeds powder, fennel seeds, asafoetida, red chillies, chilli powder and salt to taste. Heat the oil in a pan and when cool add it to the pickle mixture. Store the pickle in an airtight container.

Chana madra

Ingredients:

2 cups curd

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

½ teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1 teaspoon red chilli powder

½ teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons ghee

¼ teaspoon asafoetida

3-4 cloves

2-3 cinnamon pods

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

1 cup chickpeas, soaked and boiled

Salt

Method:

Combine curd with turmeric, cumin, coriander and red chilli powder. Add sugar and whisk well. Heat ghee in a pan over medium heat. Add asafoetida, cloves, cinnamon and cumin seeds. When the spices begin to crackle add the curd mixture, chickpeas and salt to taste. Mix well and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve warm with roti or rice.

Dr. Deepali Kampani is a digital content specialist who weaves health and food through her pen.

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