I absolutely love mash potato - it's just so creamy and the perfect side in most meals. So, when I was thinking about updating this traditional side dish - I immediately thought of using chickpeas as my base. These popular dried legumes are SO versatile; used frequently in Indian, Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cooking. We use them houmous, curries, salads and burgers to name a few...but how about as mash?!
And do you know what? They really work. I made the mash for the first time this weekend, and it was so unbelievably tasty and creamy, that I don't think there is any going back! The best bit is that chickpeas are so nutritious, so it felt really good eating it! Chickpeas are rich in insoluble fibre, the type of fibre that helps move waste through the gut - so particularly good for those that suffer from constipation. They are also high in resistant starch, which supports the growth of friendly bacteria in the lower gut. It is not only our digestive systems that benefit; the high level of soluble fibre has been shown to reduce bad LDL cholesterol which is great for supporting a healthy heart. Chickpeas also provide an excellent source of vegetarian protein, energy-boosting manganese and folate.
I've used tinned chickpeas for this recipe as it is so quick and easy - however I would advise that you opt for those without added sugar or salt, and to rinse well before use.
Serves 2 (as a side dish)
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 white onion, chopped
400g tinned chickpeas
300ml organic vegetable stock
2 cloves garlic
Pinch of cumin seeds
Handful of fresh coriander, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oven to 180c/gas mark 4. Place the garlic cloves in foil, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then roast for 30 minutes.
While the garlic is roasting, heat the 2tbsp of olive oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds, when the seeds have become fragrant, add the onion and fry until browned (5-7 minutes). Add the chickpeas, and stir. Then add the vegetable stock, simmer for 10 minutes, and drain. Reserve a small amount of the stock in a jug.
Add the chickpeas to a food processer. Remove the garlic from the oven and squeeze out the flesh into the chickpeas. Blitz until smooth, adding stock if necessary so that you get the texture that you want.
Place the mash into a bowl and stir through the chopped coriander, season and serve.