I can't get enough of chickpeas. One of my staple foods, you will always be able to find a can or pack of dried chickpeas in my cupboards. The chickpea is also a staple pulse in India, used especially frequently in northern Indian cooking. Therefore, when looking for ways to cook chickpeas I always revert back to family recipes for inspiration. For this dish, I've taken a traditional Indian dish of tangy and spicy chickpeas and combined with grilled courgette and halloumi for a twist.
Not only does this dish taste amazing, but from a nutritional perspective it's pretty hard to beat! The chickpeas are high in fibre, helping to clear out your digestive system; and high is isoflavones - oestrogen-like phytochemicals that are linked to a reduced risk of breast and prostate cancers. Courgettes are rich in the immune system-boosting vitamin C, and contain significant levels of potassium, which is key in controlling and managing blood pressure. Like chickpeas, courgettes contain soluble fibre in the skin, which not only stabilises blood sugar and insulin levels but also helps reduce bad LDL cholesterol, so fab for heart health!
400g tinned chickpeas, drained and washed
1 large courgette
100g block halloumi cheese, cut into cubes
5 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large white onion, sliced
3 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp chana chaat seasoning**
1 tsp amchoor powder
Pinch of hot chilli powder
Salt and pepper to season
Fresh coriander, chopped
Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. When it's hot add the cumin seeds.
Stir for a munite until you can smell the aroma of the cumin seeds, and once they have stopped sizzling, add the sliced onions.
Fry the onions for 5-7 minutes until they start to brown, then add the garlic. Fry together for 4 minutes before adding the drained chickpeas. Stir and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add a litte water if required to prevent sticking.
Add the chana chaat seasoning, amchoor powder and chilli powder and toss several times to mix the chickpeas and spices. Stir for 2 minutes and then take the frying pan of the heat, and place on one side.
Thinly slice the courgettes lengthways. Heat another frying pan over a high heat. Brush the courgettes with the leftover olive oil and chargrill for 1 to 2 minutes on each sides, until tender.
Whilst the courgette is cooking, also add the halloumi to the frying pan and cook until lightly browned.
Arrange the courgettes on a serving plate, scatter over the chickpeas, top with the halloumi and finish off with chopped fresh coriander, salt and pepper.
**Chana Chaat seasoning - you can buy this from all major suprmarkets. It is made up of paprika, salt, red chilli, coriander, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, fennel, black pepper, fenugreek seed, carom and dried mango powder