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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Indian Style Chickpeas Recipe

When Is My Blog Burning #19 was announced I started looking for vegan recipes and what I found was a lot of fake food. Fake meat, fake milk, fake cheese, even fake bacon. That just made me sad. If people want to eat fake stuff, so be it, but not me! So I turned to a cuisine that has a lot of vegetarian and vegan food and there's nothing fake about it. Indian food.

Besides all the fakery, the other problem with vegan food can be finding a way to get protein. Without protein a meal can feel less than satisfying. Fortunately beans make a terrific vegan friendly protein option so I went with that.

In Indian cuisine you sometimes see the name chole and other times kabuli chana or channa. Same thing. Garbanzo beans. Also known as chickpeas or ceci beans. In addition to being a good protein source, chickpeas are also high in manganese, folate, copper, phosphorus, iron and dietary fiber making them very healthy indeed.

While relatively mild-flavored, chickpeas are slightly nutty and creamy tasting making them a perfect foil for the delicious spices, fresh ginger, tomatoes, onions and cilantro in my version of channa masala. Here is my recipe in honor of IMBB 19 "I can't believe I ate vegan" served with a vegetable biryani. I based this recipe on Hooked on Heat's version of Chickpea Curry or Chole.

Indian Style Chickpeas
Serves two


1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups chopped fresh tomato
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 can chickpeas
1 cup water
fresh green chili (jalapeno or thai chili)
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste
2 Tablespoon chopped cilantro


In a large skillet heat the oil, then add the cumin seeds. Cook until they toast up. Add the onion and cook until softened and beginning to brown. Add the spices and ginger, stir and cook for a couple of minutes. Add as much green chili as you like, make sure you taste the chili to see how hot it is before adding! I typically add 5-10 thin slices of chili. Add the tomatoes and cook slightly, about a minute. Add the chickpeas and water. Cook for 10 minutes. Add lemon and salt to taste. Top with cilantro.