Looking at a cupboard filled mainly with cans of chickpeas, wishing they were in fact the holy grail of lockdown ingredients, tinned tomatoes? It’s totally understandable. But the humble legume has hidden depths, and dinner potential like you would not believe.
High in protein, packed with fibre, and a brilliant source of vitamin B and iron, they are good for you, cheap and a nifty ingredient (which can even be used to make coffee) in times when being versatile in the kitchen is absolutely paramount.
Here are 10 ideas that will make the most of the Middle Eastern kitchen favourite.
1. Apply them to every salad
A post shared by Luca (@cookingwithluca) on Apr 7, 2020 at 6:47am PDT
Chickpeas will happily bolster any salad, so if you are down to the dregs of your veg drawer, there is still hope.
All you need is a bowl, a couple of squishy tomatoes, the end of a “past its best” cucumber, half a fairly bendy carrot or courgette, grated, an avocado or whatever else you have knocking about, and a tin of drained chickpeas. Add some fresh herbs and olive oil, and lunch is done.
2. Make your own hummus
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When trying to minimise trips to the supermarket, the DIY approach could solve your hummus cravings. That tub of beige mush you usually buy is in an amalgamation of chickpeas, olive oil, tahini (a little smooth peanut butter, loosed with water, makes a decent substitute), lemon juice, and garlic, all blitzed up until smooth.
3. Roast them up as a snack
Crunchy chickpeas #crunchychickpeas #chickpeas #veggielife Ingredients: – 250 g cooked chickpeas – 1/2 tsp ground cumin – 1/2 tsp paprika – 1/2 tsp garlic powder – 1/4 tsp salt – 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper – 2 tbsp olive oil Instructions: 1. Lay the chickpeas on a oven tray lined with baking paper. Bake in the oven (200C) for 15 minutes 2. Transfer the chickpeas to a bowl, add the olive oil and the spices and stir to combine 3. Lay the chickpeas again in the oven tray and let them cook for 10 minutes more. Check if they are crunchy, if not leave them for more 5-10 minutes
A post shared by And a Teaspoon of Love (@and_a_teaspoon_of_love) on Mar 22, 2020 at 5:05am PDT
Run out of chocolate and crisps? As long as you have a baking tray, a can of chickpeas and a few jars of spices in the cupboard, all is not lost.
Drain and pat your chickpeas dry, toss with salt and oil, and roast until crispy, then douse in spices and seasoning (paprika works well), and eat by the handful. It’s better than popcorn.
4. Throw together some fritters
A quick homecooked breakfast of Chickpea n Corn Patties with grated carrots, onion n cilantro n breadcrumbs for that added crunch. Spiced with Moroccon spices n served with yogurt n chili dip. #chickpeafritters #먹스타그램 #foodie #foodstagram #food #foodporn #breakfast #dinner #lunch #plateculture #singaporeinsta #tophomecooking #greatfood #sedap #delicious #singaporefood #homecook #homechef #homecooked #instafood #gengbekel #foodsg #sgfood #goodeats #delicious #instafood
A post shared by SayangSuhana (@sayangsuhana) on Sep 12, 2019 at 5:54pm PDT
For a quick solo meal, fritters are a handy win. Mix together a little flour, an egg (or use aquafaba – the liquid from the chickpea can), chickpeas and a few herbs, like parsley and coriander, before shallow frying your batter mixture until crisp.
Then come the condiments: mayo or sour cream, a squeeze of lime, and a lot of hot chilli sauce.
5. Whip up meringue
A post shared by Iris Lys (@vegan_cooking_by_me) on Apr 7, 2020 at 8:19am PDT
Before you drain your next can of chickpeas, consider the viscous liquid you are swilling away. Aquafaba, as it’s known, is a surprisingly effective and fully vegan alternative to eggs.
Meaning you can whip it into crisp meringue peaks and use it to make marshmallow – two things you might now actually have the time to make from scratch.
6. Try homemade falafel
Sunday lunch – Falafels #falafel #homemadefalafel #hummus #vegetables #vegetarianlunch #vegetarianfood #vegetarianlife #sodelicious #healthyfood #healthyanddelicious #homemademeal #homecooking #food #goodfood #foodphotography
A post shared by ☆ Tihana Mioc (@tihi___mioc_15) on Apr 5, 2020 at 6:24am PDT
Missing your local falafel joint? Recreate your own falafel wrap with a freshly fried homemade version – most recipes require dried chickpeas rather than those in a can though, which are arguably in even more plentiful supply as people head straight to the pre-cooked tinned aisle.
Then all you need is some hummus, chilli sauce, onion salad and pickles for tang.
7. Make chana masala
A post shared by Mohammad Keramati (@mhmdkrmt) on Oct 25, 2019 at 12:04pm PDT
For a swift, crowd-pleasing curry, chana masala ought to be a go-to. Flavoured with garlic, ginger, chilli and given depth thanks to heavily browned onions and a few tomatoes, it makes chickpeas the star, and is pretty filling to boot, especially if you serve it with naan and chutney.
8. Add them to a traybake
Storecupboard dinner this weekend courtesy of the Green Roasting Tin – all in one beetroot, chickpea and coconut curry. Swipe left for a quick recipe video, and you can get the full recipe from the book on @thehappyfoodie website. This photograph by the brilliant @davidloftus ✨
A post shared by Rukmini Iyer (@missminifer) on Apr 6, 2020 at 8:00am PDT
If you were planning on a bountiful traybake that would leave you with leftovers for lunch, and then realise your tray is looking a bit lacklustre, there is not much chickpeas do not improve. Chuck in a can and it’s instantly bulked out.
9. Pair them with sweet potato
A post shared by Kerry Magson (@kerry.magson) on Mar 15, 2016 at 11:14am PDT
There’s just something about sweet potato and chickpeas, whether they are baked together in a casserole with chicken thighs and stock, or served simply, just a baked sweet potato topped with butter, chickpeas, coriander and lime.
10. Whizz up a soup
I’ve made this lentil and chickpea soup twice in the past week if that tells you anything 🔥💃🏼 (recipe on @andiemmitchell now). . . #soupson #soupseason #vegetarianrecipes #healthyrecipes #feedfeed #lentilsoup #f52grams #bhgfood #buzzfeast #makeahead #soupweather
A post shared by Andie Mitchell (@andiemmitchell) on Feb 19, 2020 at 6:39pm PST
Soup is arguably the hero of lockdown cooking: the perfect vehicle for using up sad looking odds and ends in the fridge and freezer.
Chickpeas can bring all those assorted green veggies, roast chicken leftovers, parmesan rinds and wilting herbs together in one comfort-laden bowl of stock.