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The joys of chickpeas

Published: 
Saturday, January 8, 2011

Chickpeas, channa, Garbanzo beans, are very popular here in Trinidad and Tobago. We enjoy them in many different ways, the more popular ways being in our curried vegetables, or as a crunchy tasty snack. But, the joys of chickpeas extend beyond these ways. Middle Easterners enjoy them in the popular dip Hummos, they also incorporate them into pilafs and enjoy them cooked with different vegetables. Chickpeas are exceptionally high in protein and very low in fat making them an ideal food. Cooking them into vegetable stews and incorporating them into salads make them satisfying and delicious too.


CHICKPEA AND TOMATO SALAD

This Mediterranean salad tastes better the next day! So make it ahead of time and refrigerate it until you’re ready for it!
2 14 oz tins chickpeas. Drained and rinsed
4 salad tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs, (chives, chadon beni, parsley, basil, mint)
For the dressing
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp paprika
4 tbs red wine vinegar
4 tbsb lime juice
1/2 cup olive oil
2 rounded teaspoons ground roasted geera or cumin
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place the first three ingredients in a bowl.
Combine all thee ingredients for the dressing in a blender and process until well blended.
Add to channa toss to coat.
Serves six to eight


HUMMOS WITH SESAME

1 1/4 ounce tin chick peas drained and rinsed
Juice of a large lime
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tbs unflavoured yogurt
2 tablespoons water
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon ground  roasted cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper sauce or any hot pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chadon beni (cilantro) or parsley
salt to taste and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp sumac (optional)
1 tbs olive oil
Black olives for garnishing
In a food processor puree chickpeas coarsely, if you are using a blender
puree in 2 batches and add the water.
Add garlic, lime juice, yogurt, pepper sauce or hot pepper, sesame oil, and cumin.
Continue to puree mixture until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Transfer to serving plate and garnish with cilantro or parsley.
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sumac. Garnish with olives.
Serve with warm pita bread or pita chips.
Serves six


SPICED BASMATI RICE PILAF WITH CHICK PEAS AND PINE NUTS

3 spoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1 14-oz tin chick peas, drained and rinsed          
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
1 1/2 cups basmati rice, washed well and soaked in water for 20 minutes
2 3/4 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper
1/2 cup currants or raisins

Heat oil in a sauce pan, add onions, and garlic, sauté until tender, about 4 minutes.
Add cinnamon, turmeric and paprika, stir, now add the chickpeas.
Add pine nuts and combine. Drain rice well.
Add rice and sauté with spices so that all the rice grains are coated.
Add chicken stock, stir well.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add raisins or currants, bring to a boil and cover and simmer until rice grains are tender.
Fluff with a fork.
Serves four to six

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