Find 25 vegetarian chickpea recipes in this category collection – that include bright curries, tasty rice based recipes, and savory snacks, sides. In the collection I have listed recipes made from both white chickpeas, green chickpeas and black or brown chickpeas.
Table of Contents
What are Chickpeas?
Chickpeas – also known as chana or chole in Hindi, or garbanzo beans in English – are a creamy, delicious legume that is used in many applications throughout the world. Some of the most popular dishes made with chickpeas are hummus, falafel and chana masala.
There are two primary types of chickpeas used in Indian cooking. The first is desi chana, also known as kala chana, which translates to “black chickpea.” This variety can be black, green, or mottled, and is the smaller of the two varieties. When hulled and split, this variety is used to make the popular dish known as chana dal.
The other type is known as kabuli chana, which translates to “chickpeas from Kabul.” This variety is the larger, more pale versions that are often sold in cans in the United States.
Either of these varieties can also be used to make what we call gram flour here in India. In other regions, this chickpea flour can also be called ci-ci (pronounced “chee-chee”) flour. This particular section of recipes will focus only on recipes that use the whole (or split) legumes, not the dishes that call for the flour.
What is the best way to eat chickpeas?
As someone who simply LOVES chickpeas, this is a difficult question to answer! They are delicious cooked into curries, blitzed into Hummus, turned into fritters, added to chaat, and included in rice dishes like Biryani. So long as they are cooked, chickpeas are a delight to eat in a variety of different recipes. Chickpeas can even be used to make desserts like Besan Halwa!
Chickpeas also produce a secondary product that is especially useful in vegan cuisine. The cooking liquid, known as aquafaba, is often used as an egg replacement in many vegan recipes from desserts like meringues to Vegan Mayonnaise. Simply put, chickpeas are a kitchen miracle!
Are chickpeas healthy?
While I always recommend that you consult with a licensed professional for any medically relevant dietary advice, the short answer is a resounding YES. Chickpeas are one of the best sources of vegetarian protein, and they are also rich in other nutrients like fiber, folate, iron and phosphorus.
The consumption of chickpeas has been related to several positive health outcomes, including improved bone health, lowered blood pressure, improved heart health, and a reduced incidence of cancer.
How do I pick chickpeas?
That depends on the recipe and the amount of time that you have. As noted above, chickpeas can come in a variety of types. They can also be purchased either dried or canned, or even as flour. For the purposes of the recipes in this section, we will focus specifically on the whole chickpea.
I generally prefer to buy my chickpeas in the dried form so that I can cook and season them to my liking; they also are cheaper to purchase this way.
If choosing dried chickpeas, be sure to reach for the freshest ones you can find – while they will technically last indefinitely on your shelf, they will become more dry as time goes on. The older your chickpeas are, the longer they will take to cook.
Before cooking dried chickpeas, you’ll need to sort through them first; oftentimes small stones or damaged beans will find their way into the mix. You should also give them a thorough rinsing prior to cooking to wash off any dust.
For canned chickpeas, be sure to store them in a cool, dark environment. Canned chickpeas are not only a time saver, they’re also a great source of perfect aquafaba.
However, if you opt to use canned chickpeas, the recipes in this section will need to be adjusted for cooking times – since they are already cooked through, you don’t want them to end up mushy by over-cooking.
I also recommend that you rinse any canned chickpeas prior to using; this will allow you greater control over the salt content of the final dish.
How do I store chickpeas?
Dried chickpeas should be stored in a cool, dark and dry environment. Keep them in an airtight container in your pantry, using them within a year for best results.
Canned chickpeas will last for a long time but do keep a check on the expiration dates printed on the cans. So long as the cans aren’t bulging, the legumes should be fine.
Once chickpeas are cooked (or the can is opened), they should be kept in the refrigerator and consumed within 5 days.
Can I freeze chickpeas?
Cooked chickpeas can be frozen for up to 3 months – but if you have digestion related problems, then I would not recommend freezing them. Always eat them fresh after they have been cooked. If you do prefer to freeze, I suggest separating them into roughly 1.5 cup increments, which is roughly the amount found in a drained can of chickpeas.
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