I truly love chickpeas and will look into different ways of cooking with them. The latest is inspired from a similar dish in Crete where tomatoes are kept away and instead the natural flavor of chickpeas along with the onions, oregano and good olive oil play an essential part.
I repeat myself that chickpeas are high in protein making them an excellent meat substitute for vegetarian and/or vegan diets. They are also high in fiber content and of low Glycemic Index that supports steady blood glucose levels protecting us from chronic health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
Chickpeas should be soaked before cooking them to soften and promote a faster cook time but also to be more digestible.
Make sure that your chickpeas are from the most recent harvest as older ones, or those kept in the pantry for long are much harder to soften/cook. In case your chickpeas are not that recent, I suggest using 1 tbsp of salt when soaking overnight to protect them from splitting.
Chickpeas in the Oven
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Chickpeas in the Oven
8 hours or overnight soak the Chickpeas in water with 1 tbsp of salt, the water to be 5cm above the chickpeas as the chickpeas increase their volume quite rapidly. Add more water if needed. Drain the water and rinse them well before cooking.
To cook the chickpeas, use a medium pot or casserole on high heat and add the soaked chickpeas. Add water to cover them and be 4 cm above their level and add a tsp or two of salt to prevent chickpeas from splitting. Bring to a boil, skim from the surface any scum/foam that is being created and remove from the heat immediately. Drain while saving almost all the water.
In the meantime, turn the oven to max degrees, air circulation and rack set at the middle.
Take a medium oven proof dish and add the chickpeas along with the onions, carrots, oregano, oil, bay leaves and all-spice. Pour water that was used in the boiling of the chickpeas just enough to cover them. Season with the salt and pepper, cover with foil and place in the oven for 45’.
Remove from the oven, uncover, give it a gentle stir and place back in the oven, now at 180°C. Cook for an hour while stirring every 20’ and adding more water if needed. You want a bit of a sauce in your chickpeas and not dry ones. 5’ before the end add the parsley along with the lemon juice, give it a stir and cook for the remaining 5’.
Serve with a drizzle of oil over them along with yoghurt and fresh onions.