Yamuna Devi’s Spiced Chickpea Salad with Spi
Yamuna Devi’s Spiced Chickpea Salad with Spinach
Yamuna Devi writes: “As an alternative to spinach, try red or green Swiss chard leaves – they are delicious. Because chard is not as tender as spinach, blanch or steam it for a minute or two before assembling the salad”.
Soaking time: 8 hours or overnight,
Cooking time: about 2 hours,
1½ cups (290g) chickpeas, soaked in water 8 hours or overnight, then drained,
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds,
½ teaspoon celery seeds,
4 tablespoons lemon juice,
6 tablespoons olive or nut oil
Scant ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or paprika,
¼ teaspoon yellow asafetida powder (hing),
2 tablespoons tomato paste,
2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey,
½ teaspoon salt,
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper,
1 large ripe tomato, diced,
1 small cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded and diced,
½ of a yellow bell pepper, seeded, and diced,
½ pound (230g) fresh spinach, washed, trimmed, coarsely chopped and patted dry
Place the chickpeas in a heavy saucepan with 4 cups (1 litre) of water and simmer over low heat for 1½-2 hours or just until tender. Keep an eye on the chickpeas during the last ½ hour to prevent them from overcooking. Drain and let cool.
Crush the mustard seeds and celery seeds with a mortar and pestle. Place them in a salad bowl with the lemon juice, oil, cayenne or paprika, asafetida, tomato paste, sweetener, salt and pepper, and beat with a fork or wire whisk until emulsified.
Add the chickpeas, tomato, cucumber and bell pepper. Gently toss, cover and chill for 2-4 hours. Thirty minutes before serving, remove the salad from the refrigerator. Add the spinach, toss, and bring back to room temperature.