Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fun With Chickpeas, An Easy Party-Ready Salad.

   This has been quite a week around here. In  the midst of recovering from Film Festival Fun, Monday morning saw my stove hiss and spark at me and then drop dead. With a final Sssssssss it just went black. All the blinking lights flatlined, no alarm, no clock, it ceased to cook. It was no more. Now help is on the way via Sears, coming on Saturday to fix it. So, it's all good.
   Meanwhile while I wait for the repair person, all the cooking plans I had for this week are out the window since I'm left with a microwave and a gas grill. Luckily I'd fixed an amazing salad for my birthday party a couple of weeks ago that could almost be prepared with no cooking at all. Almost.
  This salad can be served hot or in my case cold, and it works great as the centerpiece of a vegetarian feast to accompany any grilled fish or meat at summer potlucks or cookouts. There are two ways to go with this dish. You can either go canned or fresh with the chickpeas. Broken stove Kathy says canned chickpeas would be perfect, but when I made the dish, the stove was working so I used fresh chickpeas.
  Chickpeas or ceci beans as I grew up calling them are a cute little lentil that suffer from some serious shrinkage. 1 and 1/2 cups of dried chickpeas don't look too imposing. Hardly a crowd pleaser. Before a bath they're these tiny little wizened brown beebee looking thingies. But after a good overnight soak....
Voila! Fat, round, golden chickpeas! Yum!
   Now this same effect can be achieved by opening a couple of cans of chickpeas, but I love to see the metamorphoses of chickpeas in the pan, and yeah, I was also the kid who sent the box tops in for sea monkeys too. So if you are going the non-canned route here's what to do:

Chickpea Mango Salad

Drain the soaked chickpeas
Pour 1 quart of water into a large kadhai or skillet
Add the chickpeas
Bring the water to a boil.
Once it's boiling, reduce the heat to simmer, and simmer the chickpeas for about 2 hours or until they're tender. After the chickpeas have been simmering for about 1 hour and 45 minutes add in about 1/2 tsp of salt.
When the chickpeas are tender and cooked through, drain them.
 Here's where the two track chickpea salad gets back on one track again.
  Here's how to put it all together.
 In a large skillet heat 2 tsp of vegetable oil
 When the oil is hot toss in:
  1 tsp of mustard seed
  1 tsp of urad dal
When the mustard seeds start to pop and the dal turns color add in:
 1 dried red chili pepper
 1 tsp of chopped curry leaves
 Stir it all together and cook it for about a minute or so.
 Add in the cooked chickpeas and saute them for a couple of minutes.
 Now take the pan off the heat and add in:
 2 Tbs of fresh grated coconut
 1 finely chopped green chili
 Stir everything around again and add in the zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 of a mango cut into strips
Mix all these ingredients together and sprinkle 1 Tbs of chopped fresh cilantro over the salad, and boom, you're done!
   Now this salad involves a teeny weeny bit of cooking (especially if you use canned chickpeas) and could even work with a skillet and a gas grill if you're in my stoveless condition.
   Coming up next, a steamy treat... no not that kind of steamy. .. from South India. I'm also involved in my first Vook experience which I'm going to be sharing with you. If you haven't Vooked yet, you're gonna love it!  Follow along on Twitter @kathygori


  1. ummm delicious,luv the addition of mangoes in it,

  2. Thanks for sharing ! I bought dried chickpeas recently and I'm looking for more recipes to use it! I'll be sure to link back if I make this recipe :) YUM

  3. Sounds like you have had quite a week! Looks like a perfect potluck dish.

  4. I have to admit that I have never cooked raw chickpeas, even though I use them fairly often (on the other hand, I cook all the other beans and lentils in raw form:)
    With temperatures finally climbing in SoCal, this salad would be perfect (it can travel nicely in a lunch box - I bet my girls would love it!)
    I hope your stove gets a makeover it deserves:) I am eagerly awaiting new culinary escapades from your kitchen.

  5. What bold, great flavors! I love it!

  6. This salad must be really refreshing! :)



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