Ingredients (Serves 4)
400 gms bottled or canned chickpeas
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp moong dal ( yellow split lentils)
1 green or red fresh chilli
a handful of fresh curry leaves (if you can only find dried ones, that’s fine)
2 tbsp dessicated coconut
1 tbsp lemon juice
sea Salt to taste
It’s really easy to be vegetarian and it good food when you’re in India… I was vegetarian for 10 years while I lived there, not for any specific reason, I just found it easier and also, wasn’t a big chicken lover, which is a very commonly consumed protein there. I lived in Bangalore, in central Southern India, which for me, was one big culinary introduction in itself… the flavours of the south are so different from those of the North… much lighter, more citrus and sweet at times… simpler and cleaner in a way.
This chickpea dish… well, it’s not really a dish, it’s more of a snack… is something you can get on the streets, wrapped in newspaper, or outside temples after your daily prayer… temples offer such amazing food there really… you can enjoy these hot or cold, on their own or accompanied with chapatis or rice… I like them on their own, as a snack, sometimes with a spoon of spicy pickle on top! Short recipe, BIG flavours!
Drain and wash the chickpeas and set aside.
Heat the oil on medium heat in a heavy based pot or wok. Add the mustard seeds. Once they begin to pop and jump, add the moong dal along with the green chilli. Allow the dal to brown slightly and add the curry leaves. Reduce the heat slightly and add the drained chickpeas to the pot. Add the grated coconut and toss well together for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and add lemon juice and salt. Serve hot or allow to cool and serve. Either way it’s delicious!