Week of October 14

The Different Tastes of Chickpea

(Garbanzo beans)

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chickpea or garbanzo bean is a delicious and nutritious legume that can bring in a number of different tastes depending on the method and form it is used in cooking.

There are any number of recipes available in books and on web. Here are just some ideas for using chickpeas in cooking.

Boiled chickpeas
Soak chickpeas overnight. Drain water and use fresh water for boiling. Add salt to the water according to taste and boil chickpeas. It will take about 1-2 hours depending on heat intensity. If cooked in pressure cooker the cooking time is much less.

  • Use boiled chickpeas in salads - fruit salad or with vegetables and greens
  • Boiled chickpeas can be added to any soup.
  • Dip - puree boiled chickpeas, add different herbs and spices, add finely chopped onions and tomatoes to make a dip.
  • Boiled chickpeas are used to make hummus - with different flavors such as roasted pepper, garlic and other herbs.
  • Savory pancakes - Purée chickpeas, add finely chopped onions and hot chiles, add salt and other spices according to desired taste.
  • Bread - puréed, boiled chickpeas are added to any whole grain flour; salt, pepper and other spices could be added according to taste. Kneed the dough to a soft consistency; make golf size balls and roll them to about 4 inches in diameter. Bake on 500˚ F on a preheated pizza stone (depending on the pizza stone multiple breads are baked at the same time). Bake for about 5-7 minutes (or till breads puff up and there are few brown areas on surface of breads)

  • Chhole - boiled chickpeas are cooked with sautéed onions, tomatoes and ndian spices.
  • Mediterranean soups - Boiled chickpeas are cooked with vegetables, whole grains, herbs, few spices, red wine. Fruit like pear or pomegranate could be added at the end.
  • Chickpea patties - Coarsely pulse chickpeas into a meal in a food processor. Mix with mashed potato, sautéd onions, finely chopped chiles, cilantro, salt and other spices. Shape them in patties and cook them with small amount of oil, on low heat, on a skillet.

Soaked chickpeas
Soak chickpeas overnight (for 8-10 hours). Drain the old water and wash chickpeas lightly with fresh water.

  • Mix soaked chickpeas with small diced tomatoes and finely chopped onions. Add cilantro, finely chopped chiles, lemon juice, salt, red pepper powder, fresh mint leaves. Mix and enjoy it as a snack or breakfast. Fruits or nuts could also be added.
  • Bread - coarsely grind the soaked chickpeas in food processor. Add to any whole grain flour and make breads as mentioned above. The texture and taste of this bread will be different from the boiled chickpea breads.
  • Falafel - coarse, soaked chickpea meal mixed with onion, garlic, spices and herbs. Mixture is shaped into balls and fried.

Chickpea flour
chickpea flour is available in many grocery stores. In El Paso it is available in sprouts and cielo vista natural market; in Las Cruces - Mountain view market and at Toucan.

  • Bread - add chickpea flour to any other whole grain flour and bread could be baked with a similar recipe as mentioned above.
  • Savory pancakes - add onions or other grated vegetables for different tastes.
  • Vegetables - Large, thin slices of vegetables could be coated with a chickpea batter to which salt and/or other spices have been added. These are then cooked on very low heat on a non-stick or well seasoned cast iron pan with small amount of oil

Be creative as there are surely many more ways chickpeas can be used in.