Just a few years in the past, after I was simply beginning out on my quest to dial back meat in our home, one in every of my daughters walked within the door and stated she had a imaginative and prescient: “I feel we should always have Caesar salad tonight, however as a substitute of rooster, simply swap in crispy chickpeas.”
Caesar salad with rooster had lengthy been a favourite in our home, and not too long ago, so had crispy chickpeas, so her suggestion made loads of sense. I fried up a can of drained, dried garbanzos in oil, then added cayenne, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and into the salad they went. It was such a success that now, when folks ask me for recommendation on how you can transition to vegetarian cooking, one of many first issues I inform them is: Make mates with chickpeas, aka garbanzos, gram, ceci, chana. I consider the protein-packed humble legume the way in which I used to consider rooster — the start line for dinner. Two extra examples…
Antipasto Pizza — Toss chickpeas (fully drained and dried) with broccolini, onions, olive oil, salt and pepper, and pile on to a provolone-mozzarella topped pizza dough. (Add a bit little bit of Genoa salami if you want to persuade any meat-eating hold-outs, together with your self.) Bake at 475°F on a greased cookie sheet (or pizza stone if that’s your factor) till crust will get golden and cheese begins effervescent, about quarter-hour.
Crispy Chickpeas with Yogurt — You’ll be able to take those self same crispy chickpeas from the Caesar salad and make them the star of the plate: simply prime with yogurt and tamarind sauce and serve with rice. (I’d say by now this qualifies as a meal we’ve loved to death in our household.) We’ve additionally been identified to toss spinach or kale within the skillet to up the inexperienced issue.
And similar to the way in which I used to gravitate in direction of rooster recipes in cookbooks, now I flip to the index to search for chickpea-driven concepts first. Living proof: Vasudha Viswanath’s new e book The Vegetarian Reset, which is a superb international assortment of vegan and vegetarian cooking. The chickpea-centric recipes I’ve already dog-eared? Tagine with Lemon-Herb Cauliflower Rice; Paella; Falafel Salad; and the spiced coconut-y stir-fry Sundal which she was variety sufficient to share with us, beneath.
From The Vegetarian Reset
Says Vasudha: “Sundal is ‘formally’ a part of the Navaratri celebration for a lot of Hindus in South India, however is served on different events as effectively or consumed as a snack. The straightforward tadka of mustard seeds, inexperienced Chile, curry leaves, hing, and coconut immediately elevates this dish. I additionally counsel serving this as a foremost, on a mattress of greens.”
1 heaping cup dried chickpeas, soaked in a single day, or 2 15-ounce cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons avocado oil, or different impartial oil of selection
2 teaspoons black mustard seeds (yellow mustard seeds are much less pungent, however will work as an alternative)
2 Indian inexperienced chiles, jalapeño peppers, or Thai chiles, chopped
10–15 contemporary curry leaves, chopped, or 20–30 complete dried curry leaves, crumbled
½ teaspoon urad dal (black gram, break up and skinned; non-compulsory)
¼ teaspoon asafoetida (hing, generally referred to as yellow powder)
½ cup finely diced onion
1½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon contemporary or frozen shredded coconut, or dry unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tablespoon lemon juice
If utilizing dried chickpeas, mix them with 3 cups of water in a strain cooker and prepare dinner simply till executed (about 7 minutes on excessive in an Immediate Pot; fast launch strain after 5 minutes). The beans ought to be cooked however crunchy. Skip this step if utilizing canned chickpeas.
Warmth a medium sauté pan over medium-high warmth. When sizzling, add the oil and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds pop, flip the warmth all the way down to medium and add the chiles, curry leaves, urad dal, and asafoetida. Cook dinner till the urad dal turns mild golden brown, 1 minute. Add the onions and prepare dinner, stirring, till delicate, 5–6 minutes. Add the chickpeas and salt, combine effectively, and prepare dinner for two–3 minutes, till heated via. Don’t overcook or they’ll get mushy.
Flip off the range, add the coconut and lemon juice, and blend effectively. Serve sizzling.
(Prime and backside photograph by Alexandra Shytsman; pizza photograph by Chelsea Cavanaugh.)
P.S. Start with lentil salad and 10 dinners with an egg on top.