Our 10 best chickpea recipes (2024)

Tiger prawns with pork scratchings and thyme-braised chickpeas

This recipe is a bit of a mix of Mediterranean styles: the combination of prawns with chickpeas is particularly Italian, while the use of seafood and meat is very Spanish.

Serves 4
300g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in cold water
1 bunch thyme
10 garlic cloves, peeled, 6 finely chopped
8-12 large tiger prawns, peeled and deveined
50g plain flour
2 eggs, beaten
100g pork scratchings, blitzed to crumbs
Extra virgin olive oil
8 salted anchovies, filleted, washed and dried
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 leek, finely chopped
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 celery stick, peeled and chopped
1 litre vegetable stock
Salt and black pepper

1 Add the chickpeas to a saucepan along with the thyme and 4 whole garlic cloves. Cover with water. Bring to a simmer, then cook for 1 hour. Set aside to cool in their water.

2 Meanwhile, dip the prawns first in flour, then egg and finally the pork scratching crumbs. Set aside on a tray in the fridge. Reserve any leftover scratchings for serving.

3 In a fresh saucepan over a high heat, add a big glug of olive oil and melt half the anchovies, setting the other half aside. Add the finely chopped garlic and stir until softened, then stir in the vegetables, then add a glug more oil. Sweat the veg down for 10 minutes before adding ¾ of the cooked chickpeas, reserving the chickpea cooking water. Cover in veg the vegetable stock. Simmer for 10 minutes. Blend until smooth, then check the seasoning.

4 To serve, reheat the puree and remaining chickpeas in some of the reserved cooking water. Bring a heavy-based frying pan up to a high heat and fry the prawns in plenty of vegetable oil, turning once. Drain the cooked prawns on kitchen paper, then divide the puree between four plates, followed by the braised chickpeas, remaining scratchings and finally the prawns.

Recipe supplied by Luke Robinson, Bonnie Gull, bonniegull.com


In Arabic, the word fatta means "to break into pieces" and fatteh consists of several layers of crumbled, broken or cut ingredients – hence the name.

Serves 4
1 chicken (about 1.5kg)
1.5 litres water
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp coarse sea salt
1 onion, peeled
1 large pitta bread, opened and toasted
60g pine nuts
1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 kg goat's yoghurt
475g cooked or tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 Put the chicken in a large saucepan with the water, then place over a medium heat. As the water is about to boil, skim the surface clean, then add the cinnamon stick and salt. Cover the pan and boil gently for 45 minutes or until the chicken is done.

2 While the chicken is cooking, toast the bread under the grill until golden, then let cool. Toast the pine nuts in a small frying pan until golden brown.

3 Mix the crushed garlic into the yoghurt. Add salt to taste and set aside.

4 Break the toasted bread into bite-sized pieces and spread over the bottom of a serving dish. Lift the chicken out of the stock and spread over the bread with the chickpeas. Cover with the yoghurt and garnish with the toasted pine nuts. Serve immediately.

Recipe supplied by Anissa Helou, anissas.com

Chickpea, parsnip and saffron soup

If you're making this in advance, add the cream just before serving.

Serves 4
250g parsnips, peeled and cubed
750ml chicken or vegetable stock
400g tin chickpeas, drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp ground cumin
A good pinch of saffron
2 tbsp milk
125ml double cream
Snipped chives, to serve

1 In a large saucepan, boil the parsnips in the chicken stock until tender, then add the chickpeas and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Season to taste, then add the ground cumin.

2 Soak the saffron in the milk for a minute or two while blending the soup to a puree. Return the soup to the pan, then add the saffron milk and cook for another 2 minutes.

3 Add the cream, simmer for 5 minutes, then serve with the snipped chives sprinkled over.

Recipe supplied by Salt'n Pepper Restaurant, saltnpepperuk.com

Literally "pasta and chickpeas", pasta e ceci is a Roman classic, traditionally served on Fridays before the baccalà (salt cod).

Serves 4
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 stick celery, finely diced
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
6 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 sprig of rosemary
250g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and then simmered for 2 hours until tender, or 450g tinned chickpeas
500ml vegetable or chicken stock
1 parmesan rind, or other vegetarian hard cheese rind, plus extra finely grated cheese, for serving
225g small dried tubular pasta, cooked al dente
Salt and black pepper

1 In a large, heavy-based saucepan, gently fry the carrot, celery and onion in the extra virgin olive oil until soft and translucent. Add the tomato puree and rosemary, stir, then add ⅔ of the chickpeas. Stir again, then cover everything with stock and throw in the parmesan rind. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and leave to bubble away gently for about 20 minutes.

2 Remove the rind and rosemary, and pass everything through a potato ricer or mouli, or give it a blast with the hand blender, to create a smooth, but slightly gloopy, soup. Add the rest of the cooked chickpeas and season to taste with salt and black pepper.

3 Add the cooked pasta to the soup, then let rest for about 5 minutes so the flavours can mingle. Serve drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and extra cheese.

Recipe supplied by Rachel Roddy, racheleats.wordpress.com

Chocolate and chickpea torte with rum cream

Our 10 best chickpea recipes (1)

A delicious, fudgy chocolate cake with a secret ingredient that no one will ever guess. It's also gluten-free and tastes really luxurious without being too rich. Serve warm or cold, with brown sugar and rum whipped cream.

Serves 8-10
200g plain, dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken into squares
150g icing sugar, sifted
150g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 medium eggs, separated
Cocoa powder, sifted, for dusting

For the cream
3 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
3 tbsp dark rum
400ml double cream

1 Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Remove from the heat, take the bowl carefully out of the water and stir until smooth. Leave to cool for 20 minutes. If the chocolate is too hot, it will melt the butter when added to the cake batter.

2 Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Grease a 23cm springform cake tin with a little butter and line the base with baking paper. Put the icing sugar, butter and chickpeas in a food processor, then blend together until creamy and smooth. You may need to switch it off, remove the lid and push the mix down and blitz again a couple of times before it reaches the right consistency. Add the egg yolks and blend well.

3 Next, add the cooled, melted chocolate in a steady stream with the motor running. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff but not dry. Gently, but thoroughly, fold in to the chocolate and chickpea mixture. Spoon the mix into the prepared cake tin and spread to the sides. Bake in the centre of the oven for 35 minutes or until the cake has risen, is firm to the touch and just beginning to shrink away from the sides of the tin. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes in the tin.

4 To make the whipped cream, mix the sugar and rum until it dissolves, then whisk with the cream until soft peaks form. Serve with the warm torte cut into slender wedges and lightly dusted with cocoa powder.

Freeze by Justine Pattison (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)

Fried chickpeas with cumin salt

You can adjust the spices to your taste; smoked paprika, lemon zest and thyme all make good variations to this dish.

Serves 6-8
2 tbsp olive oil
400g tin chickpeas, drained
and dried
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin

1 Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Add the dry chickpeas and fry until golden and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper.

2 Mix the salt and cumin together and use to season the chickpeas to taste.

Recipe supplied by Mike Denman, Plum + Spilt Milk, plumandspiltmilk.com

Kadalai with coconut, kale and pepper

Kadalai is the Tamil word for chickpea. Instead of adding tomatoes, try using the same amount of cashew nuts with a little extra water to stop everything sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Serves 4
40ml vegetable or coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
A small sprig of curry leaves, leaves shredded
200g onions, roughly chopped
100g tomatoes, roughly chopped
30g ginger, grated
800g cooked or tinned chickpeas
1 red pepper, chopped
1 tsp turmeric
4 tsp mild chilli powder
3 tsp ground coriander
200g kale, stalks removed and leaves shredded
Salt, to taste
50ml coconut milk
225ml water
A handful of coriander leaves, roughly chopped
Steamed rice or naan, to serve

1 Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan, add the mustard seeds and, once they start to crackle, add the curry leaves. Stir in the onions and fry until softened. Add the tomatoes and fry for a couple of minutes, then add the ginger and fry for a few seconds. Finally, tip in the chickpeas and red pepper then fry for another 2 minutes.

2 Stir in the turmeric, chilli powder and ground coriander, then add the kale and salt, to taste. Cook for 30 seconds, then pour in the coconut milk and water, then cover and cook for another couple of minutes.

3 Sprinkle over the coriander and serve hot with steamed rice or naan.

Recipe supplied by Vishnu Natarajan, Carom, caromsoho.com

Chickpea and spring onion panzanella salad

Our 10 best chickpea recipes (2)

The veg component is three distinct alliums; grassy chives, pungent red onion and sweet charred leeks. The epitome of early spring.

Serves 4-6
3 handfuls of roughly cubed stale bread
2 tbsp oil
2 x 400g tins of chickpeas
3 leeks, greens and roots trimmed
1 small red onion, peeled and quartered
4-5 stalks kale
2-3 radishes, thinly sliced
Chopped chives, for garnishing
Salt and black pepper

For the dressing
Small handful chives, roughly chopped
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
60ml grapeseed, or other neutral-tasting oil
Salt and black pepper

1 Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Line two baking sheets with parchment. On one sheet, toss the cubed bread with 1 tbsp oil, then season to your liking. Once it is coated, slide the sheet in to the oven. Bake for about 13-15 minutes, or until the bread is a deep, golden brown. Set aside.

2 Halve the leeks lengthways. Rinse them thoroughly to remove any grit between the layers. Place them on the other lined baking sheet along with the red onion quarters. Toss the vegetables on the sheet with the remaining oil and some more salt and pepper. Roast for around 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are slightly browned and tender. Place the kale leaves on to the same sheet in the last 5 minutes (or leave them raw) then allow the veg to cool slightly.

3 While the vegetables are roasting, make the dressing. Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pulse everything until pale green and creamy. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary, then set aside.

4 In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas and toasted bread. Chop up the leeks, red onions and kale into bite-size pieces and toss them into the bowl as well. Season the whole mix with salt and pepper, then pour the dressing on top (you might have a bit extra). Toss everything together to combine, then garnish the salad with chopped chives and sliced radishes. Serve immediately.

Recipe supplied by Laura Wright, thefirstmess.com

Harira (chickpea, beef and lentil stew)

Harira is extremely popular in Morocco, especially during Ramadan.

Serves 8
350g stewing beef/lamb/veal, cut into 2cm pieces
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 bunch coriander, finely chopped, plus 2 tbsp roughly chopped leaves
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 stalks celery (pale leaves included), finely chopped
1 tbsp ground turmeric
1½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground black pepper, plus ½ tsp extra to season
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground caraway, plus ½ tsp extra to season
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground coriander
400g tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
200g green lentils
5 litres water
½ tsp sea salt flakes
Lemon wedges, fresh dates and flatbread, to serve

For the tedouira
75g flour
625ml water
280g tomato paste

1 First, make the tedouira. Place all the ingredients into a large jug and whisk together until the mixture is well combined and smooth. Set aside.

2 Place the meat, onions, half the coriander bunch, the parsley, celery, spices, chickpeas, lentils and 3 litres of the water in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a high heat. Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour, or until the meat is very tender.

3 Slowly stir small amounts of the tedouira into the meat mixture until well combined and smooth. Stir in the salt, then the second half of the coriander bunch, extra black pepper, extra caraway and final 2 litres of water. Bring the harira back to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the harira thickens and a brown foam starts to appear on the surface.

4 Ladle the harira into serving bowls and sprinkle with the 2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander, squeeze over some of the juice from the lemon wedges, then serve with extra lemon wedges, the dates and flatbread.

Colours of Maroc by Rob and Sophia Palmer (Murdoch Books)

Hot hummus with butter and pine nuts

This heavenly hummus is a gem of a dish from eastern Anatolia. The word hummus is the name for chickpeas in Arabic, but also refers to the ubiquitous dip made with chickpeas and olive oil, versions of which you can find all over the Middle East. This recipe is arguably the most delicious way to enjoy it.

Serves 4–6
2 x 400g tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
4 tbsp olive oil
Freshly squeezed juice of 2 lemons
2 tbsp tahini
6 tbsp thick, creamy yoghurt
Salt and black pepper
2-3 tbsp pine nuts
2 tbsp butter
Crusty bread or toasted pitta bread and marinated olives, to serve

1 Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Tip the chickpeas into an electric blender or a food processor. Add the cumin seeds, garlic, olive oil and lemon and whizz to a thick paste. Add the tahini and continue to whizz until the mixture is really thick and smooth. Add the yoghurt and whizz until the mixture has loosened a little and the texture is creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper and tip the mixture into an ovenproof dish.

2 Dry-roast the pine nuts in a small pan until they begin to brown and emit a nutty aroma, then add the butter to the pine nuts in the pan and stir until it melts. Pour the melted butter over the hummus, spoon the pine nuts all over the surface and pop the dish into the preheated oven for about 25 minutes, until the hummus has risen a little and most of the butter has been absorbed.

3 Serve immediately – the hummus is best when it is still hot – with chunks of warm crusty bread or strips of toasted pitta bread and marinated olives.

Flavours of the Middle East by Ghillie Basan (Ryland Peters and Small)

Our 10 best chickpea recipes (2024)
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