I normally prefer lighter meals in the summer evening. I like protein-rich chick-peas as they are not only tasty but filling too and are a complete meal in themselves. Try this versatile salad that can be prepared with any beans if chickpeas are not your thing and combined with cilantro, mint, and pomegranate kernels – it’s sure to become a summer favorite!
Eastern View: Garbanzo beans, also called chickpeas and maybe better known when made into hummus, have been the mainstay of the Mediterranean and Indian diets for thousands of years. Only recently have the health benefits been more fully understood.
Garbanzo beans are one of the most common beans in Ayurveda because they are easy to digest compared to other beans.
Most beans have a very hard shell composed of hard-to-digest anti-nutrients that require soaking, par-boiling, slow cooking, and a good, strong digestive system. As Vatas have a sensitive digestive system, it’s important for you to eat easily digestible foods.
Ayurveda always puts a strong emphasis on foods that are easy to digest and good for the intestines. The two top, easy-to-digest beans are garbanzo beans and split yellow mung beans, which we use in our Cleanses either alone or in the Ayurvedic superfood, kitchari.
Western View: As with all beans, chickpeas are LOADED with fiber and high in protein – but garbanzo beans have some special nutrients on board such as quercetin, which supports healthy circulation and immunity, and chlorogenic acid, which is the antioxidant that has made coffee famous. Vatas are affected the most by poor circulation and immune problems.
Chickpeas are also rich in vitamins like folate, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, and beta-carotene and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and manganese. They are an excellent source of health-promoting fatty acids like linoleic and oleic acids, which are the main ingredients in olive oil. These fatty acids are important for you to keep you grounded, stable, and constipation free.
Garbanzo beans are rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber acts as a roughage to scrub the intestines and support healthy and efficient bowel function while feeding beneficial microbes. Eating good fiber is key to great gut health. The Journal Nutrients reports that soluble fiber makes the bean a bit slimy and allows it to attach to bile acids in the intestines and escort the bile, cholesterol, and toxins attached to the bile to the toilet.
Garbanzo beans are also rich in resistant starches like oligosaccharides and amylose, which are sugars that are not digested into the small intestine and are delivered to the large intestines where they can feed the good gut bacteria helping to promote good gut health.
The British Medical Journal reported on one study where a group of volunteers were split off into three groups: a high-fat diet, a low-fat diet, and a high-fat diet with garbanzo beans. The group that ate a high-fat diet along with garbanzo beans saw a 15 percent reduction in cholesterol and a significant increase of bile acids (which carry toxins and bad cholesterol) in the stool. The garbanzo-eating group outperformed both the high- and low-fat diet groups. So time to eat your beans in this tasty summer dish.
Summer Chickpea Salad
- ½ cup chickpeas
- 1 medium potato
- 1 onion (finely chopped)
- 1 small tomato (seeded and finely chopped)
- ¼ cup pomegranate kernels
- 2 tablespoons coriander (finely chopped)*
- 2 tablespoons mint leaves (torn with hands)
- 1 green chili (finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ¾ teaspoon chaat masala (you can buy this in most grocery stores in the international foods section)
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ lemon
- salt to taste
*Coriander leaves are known as cilantro.
- Soak chickpeas overnight for 8-9hrs and wash them and pressure cook with enough water for 3 whistles, reduce the flame and cook for another 5-8 mins. Chickpeas should cook thoroughly and soft but firm and also should not become mushy. Drain them and keep them aside to cool. You can also use canned chickpeas.
- Pressure cook potato for 3 whistles along with chickpeas or separately. Let it cool completely and then peel the skin and chop into small cubes.
- In a small bowl, make the dressing mix in olive oil, lemon juice, salt, chaat masala, red chili powder, black pepper powder, roasted cumin powder and mix well using a small wire whisk until you get a uniform paste.
- Take a big bowl and add boiled chickpeas, boiled and chopped potatoes, finely chopped onion, tomato, green chili, coriander leaves, pomegranate kernels, and stir well.
- Add the dressing and taste, add more salt to suit..
- Serve into individuals bowls.
- Garnish with chopped coriander.
Serve the Salad immediately. Left-overs can be refrigerated. In fact, it tastes even better the next day.
Like this recipe? If you could use a little extra help in planning out healthy meals that are personalized for you – check out my ultimate healthy personalized meal plans below!