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Last week I attended a potluck evening with a number of acquaintances with whom I share much in common. One of the participants brought along a fabulous vegetable salad. I’ve been seeking out new veggie recipes lately and was quite smitten with the lovely undercurrents of lemony flavour in this salad.

Zucchini, Sweet Potato & Chickpea Salad


  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 2c chickpeas, cooked and drained
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • finely chopped parsley leaves
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced diagonal cut
  • olive oil

Ingredients for dressing

  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread sweet potatoes on a sprayed cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 40 – 45 minutes.  Add zucchini to the pan and roast an additional 10 minutes. Places veggies under broiler briefly if they do not brown nicely during roasting.

Saute chickpeas and whole garlic cloves in olive oil in a small fry pan over medium heat. About 3 minutes.

Remove garlic cloves from chickpeas, finely dice and reserve for dressing.

Mix zucchini, yams and chickpeas in bowl. Add parsley and scallions.

In small bowl combine tahini, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, diced garlic, salt and pepper to taste.

Pour dressing over vegetables and toss to evenly cover.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nom nom nom!



Sour Chickpeas


  • 2c chickpeas, soaked overnight and simmered until tender
  • 2c water
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2tsp salt
  • 1 hot green chili, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 4tbsp lemon juice
  • 6tbsp olive oil
  • 2 med. tomatoes, chopeed
  • 1tbsp ground coriander
  • 1tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2tsp ground turmeric
  • 2tsp garam masala
  • 1/4tsp cayenne


Place 2tbsp of chopped onion, 1/2tsp salt, chopped green chili, ginger and lemon juice in a small dish. Mix well and set aside.

Heat oil in a heavy, wide pan. Fry remaining chopped onion until it begins to brown. Add the tomatoes, continue to fry another 5 – 6 minutes. Add coriander, cumin and turmeric. Cook an additional 30 seconds.

Add the chickpeas, water, remaining salt, garam masala and cayenne. Stir to mix. Bring to a simmer, cover, turn heat to low and cook for 20 minutes.

Add the onion in lemon juice mixture previously set aside. Stir to mix.

Serve hot or barely warm.

This is a recipe I was first served while on a weekend meditation workshop at Dorje Denma Ling. I love chickpeas and this dish was delicious, speaking particularly of wholesome tastiness from simple ingredients.  On a subsequent visit to Dorje Denma Ling I asked Lucy, the kitchen manager, for the recipe. She had been given it by another DDL regular, Adella, and was happy to hand it along.


Chickpea Pancakes with Coconut Mint Topping

Ingredients – for pancakes

  • 2c besan (chickpea flour)
  • 1/2tsp turmeric
  • chickpea pancake batter

    1 tsp hawaiin black sea salt (or lovely regular sea salt)

  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1tbsp finely chopped green chilli
  • 3tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4c yoghurt
  • 1/2 – 3/4c water
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2c melted ghee

Ingredients – pancake fillings

  • 1/4c finely sliced red onion
  • 1/4c blanched peas
  • with toppings, sizzling in ghee

    1/4c blanched kernel corn

  • 1c wilted spinach
  • 1/4c diced tomato
  • avocado slices

Ingredients – coconut mint topping

  • 1c unsweetened dessicated coconut
  • 3tbsp crushed raw cashews
  • 1tbsp finely minced green chili
  • 1/2c plain yoghurt
  • 1c roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2tsp hawaiin black sea salt


Place besan in dry fry pan and dry-roast over low heat. Stir and roast until it gets slightly darker…about 5 minutes. Set aside.

For the topping: In a food processor puree the coconut, cashews and chili.  Add yoghurt, mint and salt. Pulse to incorporate the ingredients. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

For the pancakes: In a bowl combine besan, turmeric, salt, baking sodaq, chili and coriander.

Whisk yoghurt, water and lemon juice together. Add to dry flour mixture.  Combine to make a smooth batter.

Melt a couple of knobs of ghee in a nonstick pan over medium heat.  Allow to get hot.

By heaping spoonful of batter mixture, place 3 – 4 pancakes into the pan.  Allow to sizzle as you arrange fillings – your favourites or new adventures –  over the top.

Fry until golden, flip and fry an additional 3 minutes. Add more ghee as needed.

Serve hot with coconut mint topping.

Yumyumyum. Filling and satisfying when served as brunch on an early april sunday.

Pineapple Curried Hummus


  • 1.5 c prepared chickpeas
  • 1/4c olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/3 c finely chopped pineapple
  • salt to taste


Combine chickpeas, oil, lemon juice, tahini and salt in a food processor. Process until smoothly blended.

Remove mixture to a bowl and stir in pineapple.

Chill for at least one hour prior to serving to allow flavours to mingle.

This combination of flavours is very nice. The curry gives a bit of a kick and there is a subtle sweetness from the pineapple. Enjoy as a veggie dip, on crackers or as a sandwich spread.

Coconut Curried Hummus


  • 1c cashews soaked for several hours
  • 1c prepared chickpeas
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • sea salt to taste
  • 2tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4c water
  • 3tbsp tahini
  • 1tsp soy sauce
  • 1.5tsp fresh minced ginger
  • 1/2tsp curry powder
  • 1/4tsp turmeric
  • 2tbsp chopped bell pepper
  • 2tbsp chopped fresh parsley


Combine cashews, chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, sea salt and coconut oil in a food processor. Add water as needed to reach a desired consistency.

Add the remaining ingredients and blend.

Serve with veggies, in wraps, or as a spread.

Chickpea & Sweet Potato Cakes


  • 500g sweet potato, peeled and cut
  • 400g prepared chickpeas
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2c finely chopped cilantro
  • 2tbsp grated parmesan
  • 2tbsp coconut flour
  • extra grated parmesan for coating
  • olive oil spray


Steam the sweet potato until tender. Mash and place in the fridge to chill for about 1/2 hour.

Mash the chickpeas and add to sweet potato along with onion, cilantro, parmesan and flour.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the mixture into 10 even portions and shape them into patties.

Press the patties into grated parmesan, place on the parchment lined baking sheet and spray with olive oil. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, turning half way through.

Serve with a local chili lime sauce or any other condiment that takes your fancy.  These cakes are delicious. I’ll be popping one into the fry pan with my morning egg tomorrow. For sure.

libyan lamb stew

Winter weather is letting go, not that we had much winter to speak of here on this wee island in the cold Atlantic waters.  As winter wanes, so too does my soup craving.  My partner picked this recipe and I stirred the pot.

Libyan Lamb Stew


  • 50ml olive oil
  • 2 – 7+ml ground red pepper (I used an Indian pepper powder living in my pantry)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 175ml tomato paste
  • .5 – 1L cubed lamb (or beef)
  • 2.5L water
  • 15ml turmeric
  • 10ml salt
  • 625ml prepared chickpeas
  • 2 bunches parsley, chopped
  • 90ml soup pasta (I used orzo)

Add oil, tomato paste, ground pepper and onion to large saucepan and cook over medium high heat for 2 minutes.  Add meat, water, turmeric and salt.  Bring to a rapid boil, reduce heat and cook slowly 1.5 – 2 hours, until meat is tender.

Add chickpeas, parsley and more water if the stew is too thick.  Shortly before serving add the pasta; cook until the pasta is tender.

This is a flavourful stew; a great way to end the season!

polenta soup w/ besan croutons & smoked cheddar

Polenta Soup with Chickpea Croutons

Ingredients for soup

  • ¾c organic polenta
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 3c chicken stock
  • 3.5c water
  • ¼ lb dark leafy greens, roughly chopped (I used kale and some baby bok choy)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh thyme

Ingredients for croutons

besan batter - to the fridge!

  • 1c besan (chickpea flour aka gram flour)
  • 2c water
  • smoked paprika
  • olive oil
  • sea salt

First prepare the croutons. Combine water, boiled, with flour, sea salt and a generous sprinkle of paprika. Whisk until smooth and thick.

Spread besan batter on a greased baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 450F. Cut chilled batter into squares, and toss on baking sheet with olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Broil for one minute until golden.

waiting for a simmer

Heat up a large soup pot, cook onions in oil for 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes longer. Stir in chicken broth and water; bring to a boil. Slowly add polenta while stirring. When fully incorporated, add chopped greens, salt, pepper and a few pinches of thyme. Simmer for about 15 minutes.

Serve with chickpea croutons and garnish with a freshly grated nutty or smoky cheese.  I used a local applewood smoked cheddar but a pecorino would be fabulous too.

We enjoyed this filling, very satisfying soup.  The croutons were a lovely flavour.

beagle with Brussels sprouts vibrations

Working at home today.  I have two major work tasks to accomplish, or at least make serious dents in, as there are deadlines at hand.  I intersperse loads of laundry with bouts of researching and writing.  No worry, I believe I have it all well in hand by the time lunch break roles around.

I have a roasted Brussels sprouts recipe stuck in the centre of my hankering place.  When I ran the morning errands, I stopped by the grocery store and picked up some of these mighty wee cabbage-like things.  It is time.  If you are deficit in Brussels sprouts information, head over here for all the goodness.

delicious, nutritious, irresistable

Roasted Brussels Sprouts


  • 1lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered

    brussels sprouts

  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1tbsp balsamic vinegar (like champagne, you get what you pay for)
  • 1 ½ tbsp freshly grated parmesan
  • 1 tbsp roasted pine nuts


Preheat oven to 450 F.  Place cut Brussels sprouts in bowl and toss with oil and balsamic vinegar.

On a lightly oiled or sprayed pan, arrange sprouts in a single layer and place in oven for 20 minutes, tossing occasionally, until golden and crispy along the edges.

Before sprouts are finished roasting, place pine nuts in a dry pan over medium heat and roast for approximately 5 minutes.  Exercise care as they can go from nicely browned to burnt quickly.

lunch at home

Place roasted sprouts in a bowl and toss with parmesan.  Sprinkle with pine nuts and serve hot.  I placed some on a plate with a little local lamb chop and took quiet time to enjoy.

While the Brussels sprouts were roasting, I took time to make a batch of hummus.  The chickpeas, already soaked overnight and simmered to a delightful tenderness, were waiting their moment to shine. With pine nuts on hand and cilantro bravely sitting just on this side of freshness, the flavour and garnish was an easy decision.  So, taking a basic hummus recipe, adjusting the spices and adding my current and most pressing desires, a delectable hummus was created.

pine nut cilantro hummus

Today’s food adventures were all the more savoury and satisfying with the soul satisfying sounds of jai uttal‘s kirtans.  I was so excited when I opened my post office box this morning to discover an envelope from most giving of blog friends, Diane.    I had not before heard kirtans and was struck by their beauty, their soothing repetitiveness, their soul-haunting melody lines.

Mindful cooking, mindful eating, beautiful day.  Blessed.

garlic soup with cilantro dumplings

Garlic Soup with Cilantro Dumplings


two heads are better than one

  • 2 heads garlic, peeled and minced (or pressed)
  • 3 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 8c water
  • 1tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1tsp dried basil (I used fresh)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • 1 1/3c flour (I used Besan, of course)
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 2tsps baking powder
  • 1/4tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 tbsp oil
  • 1/3c milk
  • 1/4c fresh cilantro, chopped


garlic soup

Place all soup ingredients together in a pot and simmer for 30 minutes.

Prepare dumpling batter while soup is simmering and filling your home with wonderful smells. Mix together dry ingredients; add remaining ingredients and mix into a stiff batter.  Drop batter in to boiling soup about 1/2tsp at a time. When the dumplings float ( about a minute or two), they are ready.

Serve piping hot.  A great soup if you are nursing a cold or a flu and a great soup if you are eating with someone nursing a cold or a flu.

smoked oyster hummus with roast garlic & sundried tomatoes

I have been thinking that the wonderful flavour of smoked oysters would work well with hummus, so I took a basic hummus recipe and flexed it a bit.

Smoked Oyster Hummus with Roast Garlic & Sundried Tomatoes

  • 2c prepared chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tin smoked oysters (or, you could flex your smoked mussels instead)
  • oil from tinned oysters + olive oil to equal 2 tbsp
  • 2 garlic bulbs, roasted — put it all in
  • 2 – 4 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 generous pinches ground cumin
  • sea salt to taste
  • sundried tomato for garnish
  • smoked paprika for garnish

Combine all ingredients, less 3 or 4 oysters, in a food processor.  Process until smooth, adjusting salt, cumin and lemon juice to taste.  Garnish with remaining oysters, diced, diced sundried tomatoes and a sprinkle of smoked paprika.

This hummus is particularly yummy following 24 hours of refrigeration.

chicken jalfrezi, raitha, dumplings with yoghurt sauce & baghaar

Chicken Jalfrezi


  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 c frozen edamame
  • 1 pound cooked chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
  • salt

Heat oil in fry pan, add onion and garlic, saute until golden.  Add tomato paste, tomatoes, spices, red wine vinegar.  Stir until fragrant.

Add bell pepper and edamame, stir until pepper softens.  Stir in chicken, add salt to taste.  Simmer gently, about 6 – 8 minutes.

Dumplings in Yoghurt Sauce

Ingredients for dumplings

  • 3/4 c gram flour
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp sald
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 fresh green chilies
  • 2/3 c water
  • 1 1/4 c oil

Ingredients for Yoghurt Sauce

  • 1 1/4 c plain yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp gram flour
  • 2/3 c water
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

Ingredients for Baghaar (seasoned oil dressing)

  • 2/3 c oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 6 dried red chilies


To make dumplings:  sift flour into large bowl, add chili powder, salt, baking powder, onion, green chilies, and cilantro.  Mix.  Add water and mix to form a thick paste.  Heat the oil in a cast iron pan.  Place teaspoonfuls of the paste in the oil, fry over medium heat, turning once, until crisp and brown.

To make sauce:  place yoghurt in bowl, beat in flour and water.  Add spices and mix well.  Strain the mixture into a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly.

To make baghaar:  heat oil in pan, add cumin seeds and chilies, fry until dark in colour.  Pour over the dumplings and serve hot.

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