Easy Chickpeas Pantry Recipes for Ramadan:
Ramadan is here. Is it going to be any different from all the ramadan months that all the muslims had the blessing to observe in their lifetime? No, not at all when it comes to the religious fervour and our dedication to refrain from worldly pleasures for the love of Allah. Rather, this current affliction of COVID-19 has highlighted the worthlessness of materialism even more and has proved to be a wake up call to seeking humility and simplicity in our lives. But as free access to food ingredients is very difficult for many people right now, the vital question is how to keep your family nourished with healthy and wholesome food during Ramadan. This collection of simple and easy chickpeas pantry recipes is inspired by that very need.
Why Chickpeas Should be a Pantry Essential:
Stocking the pantry responsibly should always be our priority but during the quarantine days, it can become a lifesaving necessity. Chickpeas should always be the star of your pantry. Why? Because they are easily available almost every where in dry or canned form. They are cheap, filling and delicious, and can be cooked in a million ways, just like potatoes. Then there are the health benefits, so many of them! Did you know that just a cup of chickpeas fulfills one-third of a person’s protein needs. They help control blood sugar. Our body absorbs and digests them slowly which makes them ideal for fasting .
*You can use canned chickpeas too for any of these recipes to cut down the cooking time. Just rinse them thoroughly to get rid of salt and preservatives.
*Soaking dry chickpeas overnight with a pinch of baking soda helps cook them fast.
*If you forget to soak beforehand, just soak in hot water with salt and baking soda for half an hour.
*Pressure cooker substantially down the cooking process.
*Always boil dry chickpeas in bulk and freeze in small portions to use handily whenever required.
I have turned this classic recipe into a convenient one-pot meal. Instead of boiling the chickpeas separately and then adding to curry, I cook them in the same masala and broth to save myself from washing one less pan.
I try to create interesting variety with everyday ingredients while staying close to what our taste buds like – spicy, salty, tangy food. We Punjabis are used to eating okra either in onion and tomato masala or crispy fried in a gram flour batter. Crispy fried okra becomes a great finger food/snack. Taking inspiration from that I tried to create a chaat like salad with chickpeas and pomegranate seeds.
This cauliflower and chickpea curry recipe came into being as a tweak on the traditional aloo Channa because I ran out of potatoes. Imagine that! But then we liked the combination so much, with added advantage of the dish lower in carbs and starch, that now we cook it on a regular basis.
While holding the ripe and juicy, yellow deliciousness in my hands, I had this sudden urge to make a light dinner salad with it. The first flavour combination that came to mind was the soft and subtle paneer or cottage cheese. Next I needed some crunch, so sliced an onion. With a simple dressing of lemon, honey and yogurt, your rainbow will be ready to eat.
This Channa Aloo Curry is one of the curries popularly served with Trini Roti Paratha and as promised, here is the recipe for you to enjoy. Serve it with raw mango chutney or any spicy condiment to add more kick to the curry and paratha combo.
The first time I made these Mixed Vegetables Chickpea Cakes was when I was trying to use up some left over edibles while cleaning up the fridge. Mashed up chickpeas have a great binding power to hold the vegetables together and gives a soft, meaty texture to cakes/patties. You can use any of your favourite seasonal vegetables in the recipe and spice it up or down to your liking.
Chikar Cholay is a thick curry that gets it’s name because of the consistency it gets due to roughly mashed up chickpeas. It’s often mixed up with other slightly similar looking curries but this one has a distinct taste from cinnamon, black cardamoms and fennel. There is a hint of sour in the background from crushed anaardana ( dried pomegranate seeds) but if you can’t find them, simply add some lemon juice.
Word Chaat literally means ‘to lick’ …I guess it refers to the finger-licking-good taste of this snack.
Papdi is crisp fried dough bites made with plain flour and are the key element of this recipe. They not only make this snack more filling but add more texture to it too. In some places the chickpea and potato salad is served over small round shaped papdi and other condiments poured over it.
it is economical, full of proteins and fibre and a wholesome meal in one pot.
For those meatless days, when you want to eat something simple, nutritious and tasty, chickpea Pulao is the best meal choice.
Chana Chatpata or Kala Chana Chaat is a low in fat, high in fibre, easy preparation. But it’s a riot of colours, flavours and textures – a complete satisfactory gastronomic experience for spice seekers, weight watchers and salad lovers alike.
Hope some of these ideas will click with you! Remember always be creative. If you don’t have a certain ingredient, see if you can leave it out or google a substitute. You can cook a variety of recipes with humble chickpeas and your available pantry staples.
Happy Ramadan 2020! 🌴