Saturday, 28 May 2011

Warm Spiced Chickpea Salad

I was pretty pleased with this for my work lunches this week. I made this recipe up myself. I drew rather heavily for inspiration on a Spiced Chickpea Salad recipe that I had clipped out of the Sunday paper in March. But it was a very summery sort of salad- cucumber, tomato, chopped and served cold. Even though I liked the sounds of it, and do want to try it at some time, it just didn't seem right for the very cold wintery weather that we have been experiencing this month. After all we had our first snowfall of the year two weeks ago! The earliest snowfall that I remember since living here. So I decided that I should have more of a warm veggie salad. And it worked pretty well. I felt frightfully virtuous eating this all week, and that's what it's all about.

I'd forgotten to add the zucchini at this stage- but you get the idea

Warm Spiced Chickpea Salad

1/2 packet of chickpeas, soaked overnight, drained, rinsed, then boiled til tender

1 large kumara/orange sweet potato, cut into bite sized chunks
1 punnet of grape or cherry tomatoes
1/2 head of broccoli
A handful of beans, trimmed
1 zucchini, cut into mouth sized chunks

2 tblsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 onion, diced
2 eschallots, diced
2 tsp garam masala

Heat oven to 180C/350F.

Place kumara in a roasting dish. Drizzle with some olive oil. Mix to cover. Roast until tender, and edges browning (about an  hour in my oven, but should be quicker in most). Place tomatoes on baking paper on a tray, drizzle with oil, and roast until tender as desired.

Steam or blanch broccoli, beans and zucchini.

Heat olive oil in a shallow fry pan. Add onions and eschallots. Fry until soft. Add garam masala and cook til fragrant.

Assemble chick peas, vegetables and onion  mix in a large container.

Of course you could easily use tinned chickpeas, they are just so much nicer if you do them yourself. There is a bit of lead time, but basically no work, so they're pretty simple, and quick really. I probably had the equivalent of two 400 gm cans of chickpeas here.

Broccoli isn't my most favourite vegetable any more. It is frightfully good for you, and I did have half a head of it in the fridge, so in it went. You could substitute any vegetable you liked. I'd keep the kumara though, it really worked well. I only used the eschallots because they were lying about too, they do add a nice sweetness though.

It was a bit fiddly cooking the vegies in different ways, but I was just puttering around on a Sunday afternoon, and hadn't really planned this as a tactical strike. I should have just chucked them all in the oven to roast together I suspect.

Garam masala is a beautifully fragrant Indian spice blend. It's well worth seeking out.

This post is linked to Weekend Cooking, a fabulous weekly meme at Beth Fish Reads.


  1. This does sound really good :) I love sweet potato, broccoli, cherry tomatoes and courgette :) I am not sure if I will like the dressing, but I'll whip something up :) I am not so fond of olive oil based dressings.

  2. That picture looks so appetizing :)
    I'm up for just about anything with sweet potatoes in it..had one last night for dinner, yum!

  3. Looks so good! I love chickpeas and adding sweet potatoes is such a great addition.

  4. This looks perfect for taking to a pot luck -- not only sounds delicious but looks so pretty.

  5. I like several things about this post. I like that you created the idea for the dish and that you made enough to eat in a healthy way all week long. The extra time on Sunday paid off all week long. I'm going to give this a try.

  6. Uniflame- the olive oil here was just for cooking, (roasting the kumara, then frying the onion) not as a dressing as such.

    The Book Girl- thanks so much. I love sweet potatoes too. And am planning to have some more tonight.

    Carol- the chick pea sweet potato combination was really good

    Beth- lots of veggies, always makes a dish look colourful and pretty, doesn't it?

    Margot- Thanks so much for your comment. I'm not always that creative, and ideas need to stew a bit before they take form. I had the summer recipe sitting in my recipe holder on the kitchen bench, and I kept thinking that I wanted to try it. Last week I finally thought of a way! I often make an extra dish on Sunday jut for my work week lunches. So much nicer than what I can buy- and generally healthier too. Plus it's actually quicker.

  7. This looks and sounds very good. I think I would like it as a warm dish rather than cold. I'm not a broccoli fan either. Since I'm a vegetarian everyone supposes that I love it. :<) When I cook chickpeas, I soak them the night before and then put them in the crockpot for a few hours. As you said, it takes some time but no work. One of my fave foods. Thank you.

  8. I do think that sweet potatoes are a winner no matter how they are prepared. The spice sounds good.

  9. Nan, I did eat this warm. It was very tasty.

    Heather- sweet potatoes are so good. Each time I have them, I think I should eat them more often. The spice blend is great, so aromatic.

  10. A great salad that i would like to make; I have used chick peas a hundred times but never with these veggies in a salad form!

  11. This looks like real comfort food to me!!! Yum. :)