Today, I want to talk about my new best friend – Chickpea. I remember hating Chickpea with a vengeance in me early years. Probably, it was because of the way it was cooked and also because health and fitness were not at the forefront of my mind.
These days as a vegetarian fitness enthusiast, I am constantly searching for protein source and balanced diet. Those who have read my previous blogs on diet would remember my concept of having the calories derived equally from Fats, Complex carbs and Proteins to meet the daily calorie requirement. Chickpeas fit neatly into that paradigm.
100 grams of Chickpea contains 19 grams of protein and in my books, that is super! It has 62 grams of complex carbs to fuel your muscles and 6 grams of fat. It also contains 17 grams of fiber. Chickpea is common in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. The best thing about Chickpea is that it can be cooked into any style and has a great texture when well cooked. Hummus is made entirely of Chickpeas, salt and garlic.
You can get Chickpea at your local Indian grocery. It usually comes in dried form as well as the regular canned variety where Chickpea in its original form is suspended in salt water (you find this in most national grocery chains). I personally do not like canned chickpea because I think it may contain dioxins or chemicals used inside the can to prevent chemical reactions. However, cooking dry chickpeas takes a little effort.
Here is a recipe that you can try. Take a cup of dry chickpea in a large bowl and add three times as much water to it. Next add some salt and let it sit overnight. The next morning, you can cook a nice savory breakfast. Drain the salt water and transfer the chickpeas into a deep steel cooking utensil, add enough water to submerge all the chickpeas and a little more. Cook on medium intensity until you can mash the chickpeas with your spoon. You could do this quicker with your pressure cooker.
Drain the cooked chick peas and set aside. Dice half of a small Onion and one Tomato into fine pieces. Next heat your frying pan and add a little cooking oil. Throw in some mustard seeds and wait until they pop. Then add the onions and stir until they are lightly caramelized. Then add the tomatoes and stir a little. Add salt to taste, half a spoon of turmeric powder and half a spoon of coriander powder and a dash of red chilly powder (optional). Mix it all thoroughly and then add a little water (say 5 table spoon full). Mix thoroughly and then add the cooked chickpeas and stir until the chickpeas are coated. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes and then take the pan off the stove and keep it covered for 5 minutes. You can garnish this with fresh coriander or dry coconut flakes.
In my next post, I will provide the recipe for Hummus.