Since beginning our nutrition journey, I’ve discovered that I really, really love chickpeas, a.k.a. garbanzo beans. They are so incredibly versatile! They can be processed into a flour for desserts like blondies and deep-dish pie, or complement a main dish, as they do in Indian Potatoes and Chickpeas and Spinach and Chickpea Coconut Curry, or they can even form the main attraction, like in the Chickpea Tikka Masala and Hawaiian Chickpea Teriyaki.
I wanted to share an excerpt from the cookbook “Savoring India,” by Julie Sahni, about the glorious chickpea:
“Packed with rich flavor, protein, and nutritients, chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, serve as meat for Indian vegetarians. Afghan traders introduced the legumes to India, hence their name, Kabuli chana, from Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, and chana, or peas. Each summer, northern Indians look forward to the arrival of green chickpea pods in the market. Later in the season, when the beans are mature, they are shelled and dried.
When I was living in New Delhi, I loved buying fresh chickpeas, which are crunchy like sugar snap peas. Vendors sold them in one-pound bouquets accompanied with a secret dipping salt of what I believe was black salt and lemon crystals. The puffy, one-inch pods would pop when pressed, releasing the emerald green peas. Indian cooks like to stir-fry the fresh peas with spices or stuff them into breads.”
Just as chicken is the all-purpose protein for omnivores, chickpeas truly are becoming my go-to. Love ’em!