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INGREDIENT OF THE MONTH: Chickpeas

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“Hard and dry, a chickpea is inedible. Hard and dry, a heart is unlovable.
Presoak it in dance, music and art.”
Khang Kijarro Nguyen

 

Chickpeas are one of the earliest grown and consumed traditional crops in the world, believed to have been eaten over 7500 years ago. Cultivated across the world, popular to practically every cuisine in one form or another, this humble legume has gained a lot of popularity in recent times. Not least because it is gluten free, but also because of its versatility in both form and taste. Quite a fascinating ingredient once you begin to explore its potential, chickpeas are equally pleasing in sweet and savory preparation.

 

Chickpeas, Kabuli Chane, Chole or sometimes referred to as Garbanzo beans are an excellent source of molybdenum and manganese. They are also a very good source of folate and copper as well as a good source of dietary fiber, phosphorus, protein, iron, and zinc.

 

They are the best-known sources of plant protein known for:

– Help control blood sugar levels

– Helps weight loss {high in fiber & protein; helps you stay full longer}

– Aids digestion

– Protects against heart disease

 

 

A few fun recipe ideas with chickpeas and besan:

– Falafal, an all time favorite from the Middle East. Add some zucchini to your falafal to up the nutrition even more

– Sweet pancakes / Crepes with chickpea flour

– Hummus – need we say more?

– Maybe we can … Beetroot Hummus, Avacado Hummus, Sweet Potato Hummus, consider even Cheddar Hummus!

– Spiced roasted chickpeasRocket, Chickpea Tomato Salad OR Roasted beet, Cottage Cheese, Red Onions, Walnuts & Chickpea Salad

– Rocket, Chickpea Tomato Salad OR Roasted beet, Cottage Cheese, Red Onions, Walnuts & Chickpea SaladSocca,

– Socca, savory flatbread, and parathasGrilled Polenta & Chickpea Cakes

– Grilled Polenta & Chickpea CakesMediterranean Chickpea Stew

– Mediterranean Chickpea StewChicken & Chickpea

– Chicken & Chickpea Tangine

– Onion Bhajjias …or pakoras galoreBesan ki Barfi or Besan

– Besan ki Barfi or Besan ke Laddoo… and here we stop as the list seems endless!

 

Chickpeas

 

How to select and store

Chickpeas are available both in dried form and canned. While the canned version is a popular pantry staple overseas, in India the dried version is used more often than never. Like all legumes, store chickpeas in a cool dry place.
Also, it is important to soak the chickpeas for 6-8 hours or overnight as the legumes contain phytates, an antinutrient, that interferes with the absorption of minerals. The amount of phytic acid can be lowered by an overnight soak or, by sprouting. Do remember to throw out the soaking water and cook the chickpeas in fresh clean water.

 

 

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