These will have to be the softest chickpeas ever. They are par boiled then baked in a slow oven for 2.5 hours. The dish is served either hot, warm or cold – it will make a meal in itself with a little feta and a green salad or some cooked greens. The recipe is adapted from Ikaria, by my favourite Greek cookbook author, Diane Kochilas. It is a dish that can be made at any time of the year.
I have always loved pasta with chickpeas – a pretty classic dish in this household. There is something about the texture of the chickpeas with the pasta that is wonderful. And of course a pasta dish seems really healthy with all those chickpeas.
This recipe brings pasta and chickpeas together again, this time in a classic Minestrone. Use smaller pasta for this soup – small shells or small rounds of pasta like anelli or ditalini.
Here is another of my loved rustic soups. It is a health-boost in a bowl, this soup. I usually don’t make it until later in the Wintery cough-and-cold season, but here we sit, at the beginning of the coronavirus scare. It is early March as I write, so I am putting attention to boosting the immunity of family and friends – and myself of course.
This is a very easy soup to make, and the chickpeas can be cooked the day before if you wish. Tinned chickpeas can be used – just skip the instructions for cooking them.
Chickpeas, and the flour made from ground chickpeas feature strongly in our kitchen. Today we want to share with you our most favourite chickpea and chickpea flour recipes. Many of these recipes have been on our kitchen’s menu for over 20 years! They have been shared via our previous blog Food Matters from 1995 – 2006, in person with friends, and through this blog that has been running from 2006. The older recipes of course don’t show the fashionable food styling that is current today, but here we believe in food for sustenance, food for flavour, and healthy food to keep the body healthy. We are not so much about food for entertainment. I do hope you enjoy.
Hummus is pretty common in everyone’s home and in many a Middle Eastern restaurant. We make it a lot, whizzing it up in the food processor in a matter of minutes. There are many variations on hummus, but we now have our favourite way of making it, so it is a no-fuss, no thinking dish that can be on the table in under 5 minutes (if you have cooked the chickpeas ahead of time – we keep bags of them in the freezer).
Recently I came across Turmeric Chickpeas – chickpeas that have been soaked and cooked with a lot of turmeric. You can read about our experiments with them here or jump straight to the recipe (you will need it for the hummus).
For this recipe we use Turmeric Chickpeas instead of plain, ordinary chickpeas. It is the same recipe as our usual hummus, just that we are adding this twist. BTW, if you are interested in reading about the different thoughts about how to make the best hummus, check our usual recipe. It also has some variations that you can incorporate.
You might like to read our Very Special Turmeric Recipes.
Similar dishes include White Bean and Sun Dried Tomato Dip/Spread, Tray Baked Spicy Turmeric Chickpeas, Celeriac Hummus with Cauliflower Tabbouleh, Smashed Chickpeas with Dukkah and Brocolli, and Creamy Pearl Hummus Salad.
Baked chickpeas are a delicious, easy and healthy snack. You can snack on them straight from the pan, or throw them into salads, on top of pasta or scattered over a thick wintery soup. Eat them sitting in the garden in the sunshine. Take them in your backpack on long walks. Bring them to a picnic. Take a small container to the gym. Bring in your bento box to the office for lunch. Nibble when you have the pre-dinner munchies. Or snack on them late at night while watching TV.
I first baked spicy chickpeas way back in 2008, and they have been a firm favourite in our household. But recently we made a variation of the recipe. Rather than using canned or ordinary cooked chickpeas, we have soaked and cooked the chickpeas in turmeric water. It adds a lovely colour to the chickpeas and a turmeric tang to the flavour. Turmeric chickpeas are all across the internet, and we have done a small experiment with them to test the flavours, visual appeal and health impact. If you are interested, you can read more about the wonders of Turmeric.
The recipe for Spicy Baked Chickpeas is one that works well with the Turmeric Chickpeas.
Are you looking for the recipe? Click here to go straight to it.
Turmeric – A Superfood?
Turmeric has hit the super foods category even though it has been a staple in Indian cooking for centuries, perhaps longer. It is interesting when something is taken out of a context and put under the spotlight in a Western context – all sorts of inappropriate uses of the food, herb or spice are suddenly flooding the internet. Turmeric is no exception.
In India, turmeric is always combined with other spices because
- turmeric will make a dish bitter if too much is used
- if too much is consumed, there are uncomfortable and potentially dangerous side effects
- the other spices combined with the turmeric, especially pepper, help the absorption of turmeric by the body. A recent study found that oil (ghee) also aids the absorption.
My notes on the recipe for this dish say beautiful, hot, deep complex layers of flavour. We’ve been making this for many years, so I am not sure how we missed posting the recipe for you.
Chana Masala is a spicy Punjabi dish where chickpeas are simmered in a sauce made with tomatoes and 11 spices that are perfectly balanced to provide an experience of each spice, should you care to be aware of them.
Is it chana or channa? Transliteration of any other script is always contentious around spelling and pronunciation, let alone in India where different languages and scripts abound. For decades I have called it channa but the consensus online now seems to be chana. Here, on my blog, you will see both. Chana from now on, but older recipes will be channa.
BTW, anardana seeds are dried, sour pomegranate seeds, available from your North Indian grocery.
Chickpeas combined with orzo (rice shaped pasta), other pasta or rice is quite common in Italy, Spain and Greece. The dishes are usually simply cooked, perhaps with one herb or spice addition. Garlic, saffron, rosemary and hot peppers are quite common choices.
Today we have a soup with chickpeas and orzo, flavoured with rosemary. It is a simple, rustic and delicate soup, meditative to eat and quiet in its flavour profile. But bang full of nutrition and so very enjoyable. It can be a meal in itself, perhaps with a green salad and crusty bread to follow.
If you are a reader of our Winter posts you know that we love to use the oven at any time of the day. It warms the kitchen, living areas and us. Plus it fills the space with the most delicious of aromas.
This is a great dish to throw into the oven on those cold days to warm the space and provide great food. Use the roasted vegetables as a side dish, or as a hot or room temperature Winter salad with a yoghurt and cumin seed dressing.
The recipe needs enough small-diced vegetables to pile into your baking dish to a depth of 5 cm, so I use a small baking dish for this one. And we are going to slow bake them for a couple of hours, so leave yourself enough time. We often make it first thing in the morning for lunch time salads.
Similar recipes include Sautéed Butternut and Spinach with Roasted Mushrooms and Roasted Garlic, Turnip and Swede Gratin, Butter Braised Turnips, Vegetables with Indian Flavours, Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Figs, Baked Parsnips with Parmesan.