Lemony Curried Chickpeas

October 31, 2012

Lemony Curried Chickpeas

If you live in LA (or have been in LA) chances are you've already eaten at Joan's on Third. A great store/restaurant located between the Beverly Center and the Grove, with a refreshing yet comfortable atmosphere and a great menu selection.
They have amazing food there; the lobster rolls, the chinese chicken salad and the carrot cake are among my fave dishes. But my #1 choice is the curried chickpeas, a simple salad full of flavor and depth.
I'm so obsessed with that salad that every time I go there (not often enough as I live on the other side of the country, sigh!) I order it as part of the salad trio (a selection of three salads from their daily specials on the menu). Except that I don't pick any other salad, just three portions of the curried chickpeas. Because they're all I ever want to eat when I go there.
The mixture of spices is superb. The touch of lemon sublime. The combination of flavors unique...OK, I might be exaggerating a tad, but it's really yummy.
So when I found the recipe on the LATimes, I couldn't believe my eyes. I could finally make the curried chickpeas at home: SCORE!
One of the biggest virtues of this salad is that you can make it in a heartbeat. But you have to use canned chickpeas; if, instead, you use dried ones then it requires a wee bit more of your time. You know, between soaking the legumes overnight and the cooking, it becomes a long process. I always recommend to start from scratch when cooking at home, but in this case it you should really take advantage of canned chickpeas. Make your life simpler; and with the time you saved do something useful, like going for a run, working out or taking a yoga class.

Lemony Curried Chickpeas Print this Recipe! Adapted from Joan McNamara’s original recipe published on the LATimes

Serves 4

2 cans 15 oz / 425 gr cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
pinch ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped


Heat the olive oil in a large pan over low heat. Add onion and salt, and gently saute' for about 10 to 12 minutes until it becomes translucent. The onion should start sweating and yield. Keep an eye on the pan so it don't accidentally brown .
When the onion is soft and translucent turn the heat to medium and add turmeric, cumin, coriander, and cayenne pepper. Saute’ for about 3 minutes until the spices are toasted.
Add the chickpeas, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of cilantro and ground black pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
Remove from the heat and let cool. If the chickpeas are a bit dry, sprinkle with some olive oil, and few drops of lemon juice.

Nutrition Facts

One serving  yields 230 calories, 12 grams of fat, 19 grams of carbs, and 9 grams of protein.