This recipe is a variation of Indian vada. You can use different varieties of legumes and adjust the seasonings according to your preference. The chickpeas make this dish reminiscent of falafel. It’s a healthier version since it’s baked rather than deep-fried. I serve it with my own “house” tahini dressing, which my friends and family love.
1 cup dry chickpeas—soak over night (at least 8 hours)
¼ cup water
1 tsp. chopped fresh garlic
1 tsp. curry powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1 tbs. tahini (optional)
In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, grind the soaked chickpeas with water. Add all other ingredients and continue to grind and process well–until mixture comes together. Mixture should be moist enough to make patties—not too wet nor too dry. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Form mixture into ¼ – ½ inch thick patties. Place on a well-greased cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Turn patties over and continue to cook on other side for about 8 minutes. Serve warm, hot or at room temperature. Goes great with tahini. Makes approximately 20- 3-4 inch patties.
½ cup sesame tahini
½ cup water
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1-2 tsp. natural sweetener: coconut sugar, maple syrup, etc.
¼ tsp. salt
Add tahini in a mixing bowl. Gradually add the water—stirring as you blend it into the tahini. Add other ingredients and continue to stir until smooth and creamy. Serve with chickpea patties, falafel, salad, crudités.
Health Benefits of Chickpeas
Whether you call it a chickpea or a garbanzo bean, there’s no question that chickpeas are a healthy addition to any diet. Chickpeas are naturally low in fat, high in dietary fiber and rich in vitamins and minerals. Eating chickpeas regularly can help you manage your weight, boost intestinal health and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Having elevated cholesterol levels significantly increases your risk of suffering from a stroke or heart attack. Eating soluble-rich foods like chickpeas and oatmeal can reduce your cholesterol levels naturally. In a study published in the June 2008 Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers investigated the effect of around 700 g of chickpeas weekly on a group of adults with high cholesterol. The researchers found that chickpeas effectively reduced the cholesterol levels of participants by an average of 16 mg/dl.
Including fiber-rich foods in your diet plan can make weight loss more effective. Fiber distends your stomach, making you feel satiated for longer periods. If you eat legumes like chickpeas regularly you can expect more robust weight loss than you’d get from simply cutting calories, a study described in the March 2009 Journal of Medicinal Food states. Volunteers in that study who ate legumes daily lost an average of 8 lbs. over an eight-week period — outperforming a typical low-calorie diet.
Fiber-rich foods like chickpeas help promote a healthy intestine. The fiber in chickpeas lessens the strain on your intestine, reducing the risk of painful diverticulitis disease and constipation, Harvard University reports. A single-cup serving of canned chickpeas contains more than 10 g of fiber, the USDA Nutrient Database states.
People who eat legumes are less likely to become type 2 diabetic, according to a study published in the January American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The paper reports on a study which found that women who ate legumes like chickpeas were 40 percent less likely to get type 2 diabetes than women that who didn’t eat legumes. The authors note that the carbohydrates in legumes are digested slowly, reducing the blood sugar peaks and valleys that can contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes.