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The Chickpea Connect

LifestyleThe Chickpea Connect

It is commonly known as Kabuli Chana in Hindi and garbanzo in Spanish is a well-known high protein belonging to the legume family. They are one of the earliest cultivated legumes and originally found in the middle-east chickpeas have since become popular across the globe.

It is one of the most popular ingredient and included as a part of our regular diets in the Indian sub-continent. Chhole as we fondly call commonly are made in a number of ways in various parts of India, while it is more popular in the north some of my favorites include the aloo tikki chhole chaat, the street side popular and dhaba style chhole kulche especially in Amritsar is out of the world. Besides we also use chickpeas in a number of ways too from dips to salads and even baked dishes and in stews too.

Health Benefits of Chickpeas:

  • They are a good source of fiber in our diets.
  • Chickpeas boost the immunity in our body.
  • They are rich in calcium and iron content.
  • Chickpeas are heart healthy food.
  • Helps in regulating hormonal changes.
  • Provides a healthy glowing skin.
  • Is good to have in order to keep blood pressure in control.
  • Chickpeas increases satiety value in our body
  • They are also considered good for a weight loss diet.
  • Chickpeas are an excellent source of vegetarian proteins.
  • They are widely used in vegan diets and are energizing as well.
  • Chickpeas are very rich in minerals as well and are nourishing for our system.

 

Culinary Uses of Chickpeas:

  • Also known as Kabuli chana it is significant in our Indian cuisine and very popular in our homes when it comes to chhole Chawal or Chhole Kulche or Bhature are an all-time favorite.
  • Chana is also very popular to make cutlets, tikkis for snacks and koftas as well in rich creamy gravies.
  • Kabuli chane wala pulao, chhole aur makhane ki biryani, chickpea pilaf rice, stir fried rice with chickpeas and greens are also some ways of using it.
  • Chickpeas are also used to make dips like the most famous one being hummus from middle-eastern cuisine it is now also modified in several colors and flavors as well but the best one classic taste still remains.
  • They are also good to add into salads as they make you feel full and add a good filler value as well into the bowl.
  • Using it in the famous Indian Chaats has ever since been a weakness of many of us, the StreetSide stalls, food counters are so very mesmerizing with varieties of chickpeas being used, must try some nice mashed chick pea dahi bhallas for a change from the regulars.
  • The Moroccan and Turkish cuisines also boast of chickpeas in their world famous delicacies called tajine with couscous in which chickpeas are a part of the stew in the tajine with meat/chicken and vegetables.
  • Chickpeas mashed up spiced and added as a stuffing into a paratha also creates variety in parathas and is a feel good experience too.
  • In some of the cuisines we also use them in stir fried forms as well a little olive oil, garlic, mint and some light seasonings toss the boiled chickpeas in it and add a splash of lime juice and a few crushed roasted peanuts have it like a in between meal snack.
  • Kabuli chane with palak gravy, methi Lasooni chhole, the famous Bengali puries called loochies also go well with some nice chana masala.
  • It is also grounded and its flour form also is useful in a number of recipes from thickening agent to adding binding and also taste and flavor in dough concepts where gluten can’t find its way.

Here are a few recipes with this charismatic ingredient:

 

Recipe-1] NUTTY CHICKPEA DIP

Ingredients:

Boiled chickpeas- 1 cup

Garlic- 1 tsp chop

Olive oil- 2 tbsp.

Peanut butter-1 tbsp.

Salt and crushed black pepper to taste

Lime juice- 1 tbsp.

Chilled water- 2 -3 tbsp.

Tahini paste- 2 tbsp.

Mint leaves- 8-10 no.

Paprika powder- ¼ tsp

Chaat masala powder- ½ tsp

To serve with: crackers/ sticks of vegetables/ grilled skewers of chicken/ cottage cheese.

Method:

  1. Prepare all the ingredients for the dip.
  2. In a food processor combine together all the ingredients and adding olive oil and chilled water blend to a smooth paste.
  3. Remove into a serving bowl, drizzle little olive oil, sprinkle a little paprika powder, chaat masala powder and few whole boiled chickpeas and some greens for garnish. Serve chilled with varieties as per choice.

Recipe-2] FUSION CHICKPEA CHAAT

Ingredients:

Boiled chickpeas- 1 cup

Boiled groundnuts- ¼ cup

Blanched moong sprouts-1/2 cup

For the chaat:

Onions + tomatoes+ green chilies+ mint + coriander as desired.

Chaat masala- to taste

Salt to taste

Roasted crushed jeera powder-1/4 tsp

Lime juice- 1 tbsp.

Imli chutney- 2 tbsp.

Green mint and coriander chutney- 1 tbsp.

Mayonnaise- ¼ cup + chili sauce- 1 tsp + tomato ketchup -1 tsp- mix well.

Fried/roasted peanuts- 2 tbsp. for garnish.

Method:

  1. Prepare all the ingredients for the fusion chana chaat.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine all the ingredients and toss the chana chaat.
  3. Arrange on a serving plate and top with a drizzling of the mayo mixture and serve chilled.
  4. As an additional variety add slices of chicken tikka, seekh kababs, boiled eggs, sliced chicken sausages etc.

Recipe-3] ASIAN CHICKPEA STEW

Ingredients:

Boiled chickpeas- 1 cup

Boiled rajma-1/4 cup

Oil- 1 tbsp.

Butter-1 tsp

Bayleaf-2 no

Peppercorns-4-5

Garlic- 1 tsp chop

Onion- 1 med size chop

Tomato puree-1 cup

Salt and pepper to taste

Mixed herbs- ½ tsp

Chili flakes-1/2 tsp

Potato cubes- ½ cup

Carrots-1/4 cup cubes

Green peas/ French beans/capsicums/corn as desired.

Peanut butter- 1 tbsp. mixed with ¼ cup warm water + 1 tsp soy sauce.

Water/veg stock- 2-3 cups

Raisins/cashews/almonds- 2 tbsp.

Coriander and mint leaves- 1 tbsp. chop for garnish.

For non-veg- chicken cubes/ mutton pieces/ prawns.

 

Method:

  1. Prepare all the ingredients for the stew.
  2. Heat oil and butter and add in the Bayleaf, peppercorns, garlic and onion and saute for 15-30 seconds.
  3. Add in the tomato and all seasonings and herbs, add a little all spice or garam masala powder if desired.
  4. Add in the vegetables of our choice and chickpeas and rajma and saute all well add water or stock, allow to simmer for 10-15 mins, finally add in the peanut butter mixture and stir well, cook for 5 mins.
  5. Serve hot garnished with greens and serve along with brown rice or assorted breads.

Recipe-4] MARINATED CHICKPEA AND QUINOA SALAD

Ingredients:

Boiled chickpeas- 1 cup

Cooked quinoa-1/2 cup

For the marination:

Olive oil-2 tbsp.

Mustard paste-1/2 tsp

Chili sauce-1 tsp

Salt and crushed black pepper to taste

Herbs like fresh basil/oregano/thyme/parsley- 1 tsp

Chaat masala-1/2 tsp

Roasted crushed cumin powder-1/4 tsp

Lime juice- 2 tbsp.

White vinegar-1 tsp

Sugar-1/2 tsp

To Add to the Salad: sliced chicken sausages/ boiled cubes of eggs/ saute prawns/ cucumber dices/ cherry tomatoes/ cubes of bell peppers/ saute sliced mushrooms/ boiled American corn/ blanched broccoli/Babycorn etc. [ any choice to be used]

For the base of the salad:

Iceberg lettuce/ assorted greens for the base of the salad.

For the garnish of the salad:

Feta cheese/ black /green olives/ fresh micro greens/ parsley/ cherry tomatoes/ sunflower seeds/ flaxseeds.

Method:

  1. Prepare the ingredients for the salad as listed.
  2. Marinate the chickpeas and keep aside for 15-20 mins.
  3. Toss the salad with the other choice of ingredients as per the list above and adjust seasonings.
  4. Create a base of the leaves on a serving plate or bowl, place the body and garnish appropriately and serve the salad chilled.

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BRIEF ABOUT THE AUTHOR: DR. KAVIRAJ KHIALANI – CELEBRITY MASTER CHEF IS A MUMBAI BASED FOOD & HOSPITALITY CONSULTANT. HE HAS WORKED WITH ESTEEMED BRANDS LIKE THE TAJ GROUP OF HOTELS, KUWAIT AIRWAYS AND MANY MORE. BESIDES HAVING SPECIALISED IN OVER 33 PLUS INTERNATIONAL CUISINES CHEF KAVIRAJ IS A RENOWNED NAME IN THE WORLD OF HOSPITALITY EDUCATION, TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT. HE HAS ALSO BEEN FEATURED ON STAR PLUS & COLORS TELEVISION. AN AWARDEE OF THE BHARAT VIDYA RATAN AWARD, BEST CHEF ASIA AWARD AND MANY MORE ACCOLADES MAKE HIM ONE OF THE ICONIC NAMES FROM THE CULINARY WORLD.

By: Dr. Kaviraj Khialani- Celebrity Master Chef.

 

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