Another Food Blog: Black Chickpea Salsas


At the start of the year, I wrote a couple of articles about chickpeas. These were inspired by an oversupply of chickpeas in my house, due to last year’s shipping barrels being packed by an overzealous vegetarian, and an appointment with a hospital consultant who berated me for not eating enough fibre. I actually eat a lot of fibre, but he just said however much I eat it’s still not enough.

I have to go back and see him again at some point, but I haven’t had the chance for a number of reasons.  But I started experimenting within chickpea recipes, and sharing them here, in other people, may also avoid trips to the Colo-rectal clinic. Several people have told me that they make and enjoy my recipes, which is very flattering.

IMG_4226I’ve been on my own a lot lately and don’t really like cooking for myself, so have been trying to find ways of making a quick meal. My favourite is a mini pizza base piled up with fresh spinach, boiled egg and black olives, with English cheese grated over the top. But I had an unpleasant experience recently with a mouldy pizza, which has put me of for a while. I suspect this is caused by freezer doors opening and shutting, and regular power outages. I’ve also not seen any spinach for a while.

IMG_5281So, it’s been back to the chickpeas. I really do have a lot of tins, including dozens labelled “Kala Chana”, which I hadn’t been using much. Kala Chana just means black chickpeas in Punjabi and they are used to make vegetarian curry dishes. I did do some heavy googling and found that they are also used as Indian street food,  and I found a recipe, which I have since lost, for an Indian spice salsa type dish.  I now eat it a lot and can’t wait to get back to Royal London to tell Dr Charlie, that I am still eating flax seeds every day, and more chickpeas than anyone else in the country I live in.

As I have lost the recipe (which is really just for the spicing) I just make it up. It is just Kala Chan mixed with anything growing in the garden, plus onions, and anything else in the fridge (not leaves). Served with lemon or lime juice and hot chilli sauce.  It is different every time but really nice. I haven’t yet put ginger and think I might be missing a trick with that.  It’s best with Mango but I’ve been using apple recently.

Here are four versions

  1. Kala Chana with mango, carrot, onion, cucumber. Lemon juice and hot sauce


2. Kala Chana with picked dill slices, onion, tomato, apple and fresh lime juice IMG_4934



















3. Kala Chana with avocado, sorrel, yellow pepper, and lemon juice. Sorrel goes surprisingly will in a salsa. 


4. Kala Chana, apple, red pepper, coriander, onion, cucumber, chedder, lemon juice and hot sauce.




















I am still cooking proper meals. This is a cauliflower and pak choi daal that I make occasionally


And I now make my own pizza dough. This is a “whatever needs using up in the fridge pizza” with pitted olives, dill slices, red onion and cheddar cheese.


I won’t recommend the pizza. It was lovely but is probably nor for everyone, but try the chickpea salsas. Your colon will thank you and they are very nice, particularly if, like me, you don’t enjoy raw leaves.

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