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Spiced Chickpeas with Vegetables
After tasting a version of this dish at a new London tapas bar, Morito, I tried to recreate it at home. It came out quite different, but still clean-tasting and fresh, with a warm spice aroma in the background. Serves four.
100g dried chickpeas
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 small cucumbers (280g)
2 large tomatoes (300g)
1 small red onion, peeled
1 red pepper, seeds and pith removed
20g coriander leaves and stems, roughly chopped
15g flat-leaf parsley, picked and roughly chopped
120ml olive oil
Grated zest of 2 lemons, plus 50ml lemon juice
30ml sherry vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp sugar
Salt and black pepper
1 tsp ground cardamom
1½ tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cumin
Greek yoghurt (optional)
Soak the chickpeas overnight in a large bowl of cold water and the bicarb. Next day, drain, place in a large pan and cover with twice the volume of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for an hour, skimming off any foam, until tender, then drain.
Cut the cucumber, tomato, onion, radish and pepper into 1cm dice, and mix with the coriander and parsley. In a jar or sealable container, put 75ml of olive oil with the lemon juice and zest, vinegar, garlic and sugar, shake and season to taste. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss lightly.
Mix together the cardamom, allspice, cumin and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, and spread on a plate. Toss the cooked chickpeas in the spice mixture in batches, to coat well. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and over medium heat lightly fry the chickpeas for two to three minutes, gently shaking the pan so they cook evenly and don't stick. Keep warm.
Divide the salad between four plates, arranging it in a large circle with a slight indent in the middle, and spoon the warm chickpeas in the centre. Drizzle some Greek yoghurt on top if you prefer the salad to be a bit more creamy.