Friday, 16 August 2013


“Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.” - Dorothy Day

The chickpea (Cicer arietinum) is a legume of the family Fabaceae. Its seeds are high in protein. It is one of the earliest cultivated legumes: 7,500-year-old remains have been found in the Middle East. Other common names for the species include garbanzo bean, ceci bean, sanagalu, chana, hummus and Bengal gram.
Chickpeas are a source of zinc, folate and protein. Chickpeas are low in fat and most of this is polyunsaturated. Nutrient profile of desi chana (the smaller variety) is different, especially the fibre content which is much higher than the light-coloured variety. One hundred grams of mature boiled chickpeas contains 164 calories, 2.6 grams of fat (of which only 0.27 grams is saturated), 7.6 grams of dietary fiber and 8.9 grams of protein. Chickpeas also provide dietary phosphorus (168 mg/100 g), which is higher than the amount found in a 100-gram serving of whole milk. Recent studies have also shown that they can assist in lowering of cholesterol in the bloodstream.

Chick Peas


1 kg dried chick peas
2 onions
1 cup olive oil
1 shot glass full of white wine
salt and pepper
ground cumin

1.5 litres vegetable stock
4 tender stalks celery
1 + 1 tbsp baking soda


Dissolve the 1 tbsp baking soda in a bowl of water that will contain the chick peas and soak the chick peas for about 20-24 hours (or at least overnight). Drain the chick peas well the following day and put them in a big tea towel with the other 1 tbsp baking soda and rub them vigorously through the towel with circular movements so that the skin of the chick peas is removed – these skins are then discarded. Once the chick peas are cleaned, put them in a colander and wash well, allowing them to drain once again.

Chop the onion and celery stick finely. Put half a cup of olive oil in a big kettle and heat up, putting in the celery and onions and stirring until the onion is golden. Put in the white wine and stir through. Add the vegetable stock and allow to come to the boil. Put in the chick peas and stir through. Boil for about 70-90 minutes until the chick peas are very tender. While they are boiling, some remaining pieces of peel may come to the surface, so remove these and discard. Stir periodically to prevent the peas sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add enough water to maintain a thick consistency (not too watery). Taste and season with salt, pepper and cumin to taste.

Once cooked, remove from the flame and cover the kettle with a tea towel and the kettle cover for about 5 minutes. Serve, drizzling each plate with a little olive oil, finely sliced onion (optional), paprika or parsley (optional).

Leftover chick peas can be blended to a pulp with crushed garlic, lemon juice and oil and some breadcrumbs to make hummus.

This post is part of the Food Friday meme,
and also part of the Food Trip Friday meme.

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