In honor of Yom Ha’atzmaut and Israel’s 70th birthday I challenged Rachel to a chickpea (AKA garbanzo bean) challenge. Chickpeas are the main ingredient in hummus, the increasingly popular paste that Israelis eat like Americans eat peanut butter. I realize in this challenge I am taking Rachel on on her own turf giving me a distinct disadvantage. The only way to beat an enemy on their own turf with superior fire power, in this case meat and fried food.
Below are three different chickpea recipes that are each great on their own, but truly shine when combined on a single plate. The smooth hummus, the crunchy chickpeas, and soft falafel balls with a crispy exterior makes for a great textural contrast. To combine them simply spread the hummus in a thick layer on a plate and top with the ground beef and onions, falafel balls, and roasted chickpeas. Serve alongside some fresh pita for a great appetizer or even a main course. If you you have a vegetarian or a vegan in the house just simply omit the ground beef.
Hummus with ground beef, an Israeli favorite, is great dish that can be eaten as main dish, side dish, appetizer, or snack. You could use store bought hummus, but why do that when making it yourself is so easy and so much better.
- 15 oz Canned Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) Skins removed
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 3 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
- 2 Tablespoons Tahini Paste
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 1 Large Onion Diced
- 1/2 lb Ground Beef
- 2 Tablespoons Shawarma Seasoning This can be bought pre-made or you can make it yourself by blending coriander, sumac, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, turmeric, cloves, and allspice.
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- Food Processor fitted with the "S" Blade
Add all the Hummus ingredients except the olive oil to the food processor. Process until a paste starts to form. If the paste starts to climb up the sides of the bowl, turn off the food processor, remove the lid, and scrape it down with a soft spatula.
With the food processor still running, slowly drizzle in the 1/4 cup olive oil. Continue to process until the paste is completely smooth.
Sprinkle the ground beef with the shawarma seasoning, making sure the shawarma seasoning is well distributed.
Take your largest, heaviest, frying pan and add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and put over high heat. If you have a cast iron skillet, this is a good time to use it.
Once the pan is very hot, crumble in the ground beef. Cook on each side until nicely browned.
Remove the ground beef, leaving the rendered fat in the pan. Turn the heat down to medium and add the onions.
Saute the onions until they just start to brown. Remove the onions and combine with the ground beef.
Spread a thick layer of the hummus on a plate and top with the ground beef and onions. Serve immediately with pita on the side.
I call for canned chickpeas with the skins removed in this recipe. I find that if you don't remove the skins from the chickpeas the hummus has a gritty texture. If that doesn't bother you than you can use the chickpeas right out of the can. To remove the skins, just lightly squeeze each chickpea between your fingers. It is a bit labor intensive, but I think it is worth it.
A great fried treat. Excellent in pita with all the fixings or at side dish or snack all on its own.
- 16 oz Dried Chickpeas (1 Bag) Do not substitute canned
- 1 Cup Chopped Scallion You can use the white and green parts for this recipe
- 1 Cup Fresh Parsley Stems removed
- 1 Cup Fresh Cilantro Stems removed
- 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
- 2 Tablespoons Cumin
- 4 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper Optional
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Vegetable Oil For Frying
- Food Processor Fitted With "S" Blade
- A Large Heavy Pan to Fry In Cast iron skillet if you have it
Pour the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with water. Allow to soak overnight.
Add all the ingredients, except the frying oil to the food processor. Process until a thick paste is formed. Do not over-process or it will get too thin.
Roll the mixture into balls roughly 1 inch in diameter.
Put your frying pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat and add enough oil to come 3/4 of inch the way up. Make sure the heat is not too high, otherwise the outside of the falafel will burn before the inside is cooked.
Fry on each side until dark brown.
A great crunchy snack. You can eat these on there own, as a salad topping or as part of a hummus plate. Feel free to play with spices here. If you don't like curry powder use garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. If you are using canned chickpeas as I did, just be careful about adding too much salt as, most canned chickpeas are already seasoned.
- 15 oz Canned Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) Drained
- 1/2 cup Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup Thai Red Curry Powder Can be bought pre-made or blended from chili pepper, garlic, lime peel, galangal, coriander, lemongrass, black pepper, cumin, fennel, mace and shallots
- 2 Tablespoons Paprika
- 1 Sheet Pan Lined With Parchment Paper
Preheat your oven to 425°F.
Toss the chickpeas with the olive oil, making sure they are completely coated.
Spread the chickpeas out on the sheet pan, making sure they are not touching each other.
Bake until crispy, about 10 minutes.
While still hot, toss the chickpeas with the Thai red curry powder and the paprika. Serve immediately or store in a resealable bag or container once cooled.
Don’t forget to check out Rachel’s chickpea post: Chickpea Curry