Tag Archives: chickpeas

Chickpea flour scramble

1 Mar
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Chickpea flour scramble with tomatoes, on noochy toast.

 

You would never guess that the stuff that makes Indian pakoras so cripsy and holds together felafel would also make a creamy and satisfying scrambled egg substitute. The secret is to let the batter sit for a few hours. Not only does that sort out any lumps, but the flour particles soak up the water giving it a smoother consistency and texture. In my pre-vegan days I used to like my scrambled eggs quite soft, preferably with some tasty veggies added. I think this recipe is very reminiscent of that, but without being heavy or greasy and, more importantly, without any animal involvement.

 

Recipe (serves 1)

  • Quarter of a cup (60ml) of chickpea (gram) flour
  • 100ml of cold water
  • 1ts oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: a bit of anything else you fancy, e.g. a chopped tomato, some courgette, or a couple of blocks of thawed frozen spinach.
  • Tea and toast, to serve.

Mix the chickpea flour and water together. Leave for at least two hours, preferably overnight. Don’t worry about any lumps, they will disappear on their own. The batter will probably end up quite thick, particularly at the bottom. Give it a quick stir before continuing.

Heat the oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat. If using something that needs to be cooked, e.g. tomato or courgette, fry this quickly first. Otherwise, mix whatever veg you’re adding into the batter.

Pour the batter into the frying pan. As it sets underneath and around the edges, turn with a spatula, as you would making scrambled eggs. Continue until it reaches the desired consistency, this will only take a couple of minutes at the most. Serve on toast with a nice cup of tea.

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Chuna pasta

2 Aug

When I was a student I practically lived on tuna pasta. Like a lot of mums of students, mine used to give me care packages to make sure I was eating properly, whenever I went to stay with my parents there was always random things like pasta and tuna in the bottom of my wardrobe. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss tuna, but the idea of eating an endangered species doesn’t really appeal so much these days.

There are millions of versions of vegetarian “tuna” salad recipe online, subbing chickpeas for the tuna. To be honest it’s nice, but doesn’t quite say tuna to me – there seems to be something missing. I kind of stumbled across this tweak to the recipe by accident. I’ve tried a few recipes for tahini pasta before, and a few other pastas with beans, and I started to wonder if I combined the two ideas I might be able to make mock tuna. I think I got it right here, the tangy, nutty, creaminess of the tahini and lemon sauce converts it from chickpea pasta to chuna pasta!

I like to add sweetcorn because tuna and sweetcorn is a classic combination, but you could add anything you fancy. I think a big handful of olives or some capers would be particularly gorgeous.

Recipe (serves 2):

For the tahini and lemon sauce

  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For everything else

  • 150g (dry weight) pasta
  • One small onion, sliced in thin half-moons
  • 150g cooked chickpeas (about two thirds of a tin)
  • 150g sweetcorn

For the sauce, mix together the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside while everything else is cooking. It might be a bit lumpy or split to start with, but if you leave it for ten minutes or so it will become completely smooth.

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. If you’re using fresh sweetcorn, throw it in with the pasta about a minute before the end of the cooking time to quickly cook it.

While the pasta is cooking, fry the onion in a splash of oil over a medium heat until translucent and just starting to colour, about five minutes. Roughly mash or chop the chickpeas until there are no whole beans left, but don’t completely puree them.

Drain the cooked pasta and return to the pan with the sweetcorn, chickpeas, cooked onion, and the sauce. Stir over a medium heat until warmed through.

Carrot and white bean hummus

16 Feb

My carrot hummus in a wrap with sunflower seeds, grated carrot, and mixed leaves. Delish!

I feel incredibly lucky to live just a couple of minutes walk from a local, independent deli. It’s my favourite place to get lunch if I’m at home on a Saturday or in the week. They’ve got tonnes of different salads (the best being a roasted vegetable and butter bean ratatouille), incredible sourdough bread, olives, loads of different kind of teas, and a good selection of fruit and veg. A few weeks ago I bought some carrot hummus from the deli, and it was ok but not what I was expecting at all – there were no beans and, even worse, no tahini. It was quite expensive for what was, essentially, just a pot of mashed carrots. Even if it was disappointing, at least it inspired me to create a new recipe. Carrot and white bean hummus, with tahini!

Slightly blurry carrot hummus

Recipe (makes one big pot):

  • 2 medium carrots (about 150g), peeled and chopped into 1cm slices
  • A 400g tin of white beans (I used butter beans but any white beans would be fine), drained
  • Half clove of garlic, mashed to a pulp with a pinch of the salt (I don’t use too much garlic in hummus because I usually eat it at work. If you’re not eating it at work or don’t mind scaring your colleagues, feel free to use a lot more.)
  • Half a teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 tablepoons of lemon juice
  • A pinch of ground cumin

Put the carrots in a saucepan, cover with cold water. Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes or so until tender. Drain and allow to cool.

Put all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Taste for seasoning and lemon, and adjust if necessary.

Keeps for up to three days in the fridge.

Crispy chickpea flour pancakes

2 Feb

I’d previously only ever used chickpea flour (aka gram flour or besan) for making onion bhajis or for holding together falafels, but I recently found out you can use it to make gorgeous crispy pancakes, somewhere between a thick flatbread and an omelette. They’re really quick and easy to make. In fact, even on a weekday morning when I have less than 10 minutes for my breakfast, I can make and eat one of these with time to spare. They’re totally delicious, and you can stuff them with or into whatever you fancy. How about filling one with fried mushrooms or tomatoes, or mashed avocado with tahini or hot sauce? They’re also the perfect size for stuffing into a tortilla or pitta bread, maybe with some beans and salsa, or some hummus.

Here it is, my new favourite breakfast:

Recipe (serves 1)

  • Quarter of a cup of chickpea flour
  • Quarter of a cup of cold water
  • A pinch each of ground cumin, salt, and pepper
  • A teaspoon or so of oil

Heat a small (15cm or so) frying pan over a medium-high heat.

Mix the chickpea flour and seasonings together in a small jug or bowl. Add the water and whisk quickly with a fork. Break up any large lumps but don’t worry too much about the smaller lumps.

Pour the oil into the hot pan and let it heat through. Add the batter, it will be thick but should easily spread to cover the bottom of the pan.

Fry the pancake for a couple of minutes each side until cooked through and crispy. Stuff, roll, and enjoy.

Spicy roasted squash and chickpea soup

10 Nov

It’s Sunday, it’s cold outside, yes… I’ve been making soup again. I could probably fill my entire blog with soup recipes and never run out of ideas or get bored. Here. squash is roasted to bring out the full depth of the flavour. Chickpeas add texture and balance the sweetness and richness of the squash. My two favourite spices, cumin and chilli, make it lovely and warming for a chilly autumnal day.

I used one of my Mum’s home-grown butternut squash for this, but any squash or pumpkin will do. You could roast the squash when you happen to have the oven on for something else, and then keep it in the fridge for when it’s time to make soup. The soup itself is very quick to put together.

Recipe (serves 4)

  • About 500g squash, roasted (about half an hour at 200ºC should do it)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled, smashed and finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Half a tin of chickpeas, about 120g
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a low-medium heat. Fry the onion with the lid on, for about five minutes. Add the garlic, chilli and cumin and fry for a couple more minutes, still covered.

Add the rest of the ingredients and then blend until smooth. Heat through, check for seasoning, and serve.

North African spicy chickpea and sweet potato soup

22 May

In my last post I mentioned that I often take home-made soup to work for lunch. I love making soup; it’s easy, cheap, filling, and super versatile. I could probably post a soup recipe every week and never run out of ideas, but here’s just one to begin with.

Harissa paste is a North African blend of chillies and spices that works as a brilliant cheat ingredient for sexing up soup, stew, sandwiches, homous, roasted vegetables. It’s probably my new favourite ingredient. The soup would be great without it (chickpeas AND sweet potato, two of my favourite soup items), but including harissa gives it a Moroccan tagine-style edge that makes it insanely good.

This isn’t the best food photo I’ve ever taken, but you get the idea (recipe below):

Image

Recipe (serves 2-4)

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1-2 red chillies, chopped (optional, depending on how hot you like it)
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste
  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained
  • Half a tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, chillies, and sweet potato, cover and sweat over a low-medium heat for about 10 minutes.

Add the cumin, harissa paste, about three quarters of the chickpeas, the tomatoes and stock. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly then blend until smooth. Add the rest of the chickpeas, heat through and check for seasoning.

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