Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are small tan legumes that are often found in Middle Eastern, African, European, and Indian cuisines. They are tasty and versatile, and can make a vegetarian dish really stick to your stomach and fill you up! If you're looking for some healthy and inexpensive chickpea recipes, look no further than this handy collection.
Hummus. It's a dip so versatile, it can go before almost any meal and still be a great starter food. Plus, you can smear it on pita chips, regular corn chips, tortilla strips, vegetables, and more, and it takes on a life of its own! If you want to make your own hummus, you will need: a garlic clove, 1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste), 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 cups chickpeas, 1/2 cup water, cumin, cayenne powder, salt, and extra virgin olive oil. Combine the first three ingredients in the blender until whitened, then add the chickpeas and blend until smooth. Add the water a splash at a time until the hummus is the desired consistency, then add the seasonings to taste. Drizzle with olive oil once the hummus is in a serving bowl.
Another way chickpeas are commonly used around the world is in curry. You can make a simple chickpea curry by gathering together the following ingredients: 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 2 minced onions, 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger root, 6 whole cloves, 2 crushed cinnamon sticks, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon ground turmeric, 2 cans chickpeas, and 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro. Fry the onions in the oil until tender, then stir in the garlic, ginger, and spices, cooking for a minute over medium heat and stirring constantly. Then add the chickpeas (undrained) and cook, still stirring, until everything is well-mixed and heated through. Stir in cilantro right before serving.
Chickpeas are versatile enough to go into pasta, particularly if the dish is a mild one. You can add broccoli and garlic to penne pasta for a great, hearty vegetable pasta. You can also put chickpeas into soups, blending them with mixed vegetables, sweet potatoes, and other beans if desired. If you like cooler chickpea dishes, try putting them into a salad, mixed with fresh vegetables such as cucumber and tomato.
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