Chick peas are very versatile beans. They are full of protein and hence a great source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. Used in Asia as well as Mediterranean, it is usually ignored and not given its due. One of the reason for this is that, when uncooked these beans look like pebbles and quite inedible. But with a little bit of patience and time they can be transformed into something nutritious and delicious. It is very easy to cook Chickpeas. all one has to do is soak them overnight, and half the job is done. Soaking the beans overnight softens the beans – they cook faster. Thus reducing cooking time and the energy required for the same.
Thus, first soak the chickpeas overnight in a large bowl of water, as it will double in size by morning. Drain the water and rinse the beans once before boiling them. Using a pressure cooker further reduces the cooking time and energy. But boiling them in a stove-top dutch oven with a well-fitting lid will also do the job. Cook for approximately 30-40 minutes in normal cookware or 20 minutes in a pressure cooker. Do not add salt while cooking instead just before turning the heat off. Proportion of water to the soaked beans should be approximately 2: 1. Once cooked in the above mentioned way they can be frozen along with the remaining cooking liquid. Once thawed they can be used in any kind of recipe.
Here is a salad recipe that uses not only chickpeas but also mung and red kidney beans. All these beans can be cooked in similar ways, with the mung beans requiring half the cooking time.
ThreeBean Salad Recipe :
1/2 cup boiled Chickpeas
1/2 cup boiled Red kidney beans
1/2 cup boiled Mung beans
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped cucumbers
1 tsp finely chopped green chili
1/2 cup coriander leaves
1 tbsp lime juice
1tsp dry roasted coriander seeds (coarsely ground)
1tsp dry roasted cumin seeds( coarsely ground)
salt to taste and 2 tbsp olive oil.
Mix all the ingredients in the above mentioned order in a large bowl and chill before serving. This salad can stay in the refrigerator for two days if stored in an air tight container.
This is an excellent way to get the protein intake without piling on excess fats as in when taking animal based proteins.