Grandmother’s Secret: Chickpea Recipe That Will Conquer Everyone!

In the rich tapestry of Middle Eastern cuisine, chickpeas hold a special place. This beloved legume, often referred to as garbanzo beans, is a staple in many traditional dishes. One such recipe, passed down from generations and taught to me by an Arab grandmother, is a vibrant chickpea salad. This dish is not only a feast for the taste buds but also a colorful delight for the eyes. Perfect for any occasion, this recipe is sure to conquer the hearts and palates of everyone who tries it.

History of Chickpeas in Middle Eastern Cuisine

Chickpeas have been cultivated in the Middle East for thousands of years, making them one of the oldest cultivated legumes. They are a cornerstone of Middle Eastern cuisine, featured in a variety of dishes from creamy hummus to hearty stews. The versatility and nutritional value of chickpeas have made them a beloved ingredient in many households. This particular chickpea salad is a celebration of fresh ingredients and bold flavors, embodying the essence of Middle Eastern culinary traditions.


To create this delicious chickpea salad, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1.1 pounds chickpeas
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 spring onion
  • Coriander
  • Dill
  • Pomegranate juice
  • Lemon juice
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt


Soaking and Cooking the Chickpeas

  1. Soak the Chickpeas: Begin by placing the chickpeas in a large, high-sided pan. Fill the pan with hot water, ensuring the chickpeas are fully submerged. Let them soak for about 6 hours. This step is crucial as it softens the chickpeas and reduces cooking time.
  2. Cook the Chickpeas: After soaking, put the pan on the stove and bring the water to a boil. As the chickpeas cook, foam may form on the surface. Remove this foam with a spoon to ensure a clear cooking liquid. Allow the chickpeas to cook for approximately 3 hours, or until they are tender.

Preparing the Vegetables

  1. Chop and Fry the Red Pepper: While the chickpeas are cooking, chop the red pepper into small pieces. Heat a pan with vegetable oil over medium heat. Fry the chopped red pepper for about 3 minutes until they are slightly softened but still retain some crunch. Transfer the cooked peppers to a plate and set aside.
  2. Chop the Remaining Vegetables: Finely chop the red onion, spring onion, coriander, and dill. The combination of these fresh herbs and vegetables adds a burst of flavor and color to the salad.

Assembling the Salad

  1. Combine Ingredients: Once the chickpeas are cooked, drain them and pour them into a large mixing bowl. Add the fried red peppers, chopped red onion, spring onion, coriander, and dill to the bowl.
  2. Season the Salad: Season the salad with a teaspoon of salt. In a small bowl, mix a tablespoon of pomegranate juice and a tablespoon and a half of lemon juice. Pour this tangy mixture over the salad. Toss everything together gently to ensure the chickpeas and vegetables are well coated with the seasoning.
  3. Serve: Your chickpea salad is now ready to serve. This dish can be enjoyed warm or cold, making it a versatile addition to any meal.

Nutritional Information

This chickpea salad is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients. Here is a breakdown of the nutritional information per serving:

  • Calories: 210
  • Protein: 10g
  • Carbohydrates: 35g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Fat: 6g
  • Vitamin C: 35% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Iron: 15% of the DV

Tips for Perfect Chickpea Salad

  • Soaking Time: Ensure you soak the chickpeas for at least 6 hours, but overnight soaking is even better for a softer texture.
  • Fresh Herbs: Use fresh coriander and dill for the best flavor. Dried herbs can be used in a pinch but won’t provide the same vibrant taste.
  • Adjust Seasoning: Taste the salad before serving and adjust the salt and lemon juice according to your preference.
  • Serving Suggestions: This salad pairs well with grilled meats, fish, or can be enjoyed on its own as a light meal.


This chickpea salad is a true testament to the rich flavors and wholesome ingredients of Middle Eastern cuisine. Easy to prepare and incredibly nutritious, it’s a dish that promises to impress and satisfy. Whether you’re looking for a healthy side dish or a hearty main course, this chickpea salad is a perfect choice.

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