This is a simple vegetable side that incorporates authentic Indian spices. The flavor is perfect with any kind of green, and the result is some tasty!
The flavor starts with turmeric and coriander powder, which creates a gentle spice background. Next comes the fresh lemon juice, salt, natural sweetness from the chickpeas, a slightly bitter taste from the sesame seeds, and the astringency of the greens.
Overall, it's a balance of six tastes, and fully satisfying.
This recipe is adapted from “The Ayurvedic Cookbook,” by Amadea Morningstar with Urmila Desai.
It is one of those rare recipes that turned out amazing the first time around. Having made it now quite a few times now, I can’t wait to share it with you.
I often use canned chickpeas for this dish. It makes this dish super quick to make (15 minutes), and it requires very little planning, as long as you have some basic ingredients on hand. I always prefer starting with dry chickpeas though, if I can manage it.
If you have time to soak and prepare the chickpeas yourself, see my post, "How to Cook Chickpeas From Scratch." One idea is to cook extra, and keep them in the fridge or freezer for other uses.
Almost any type of greens will do for this dish, so harvest whatever is ready in your garden, or use up what’s in the fridge. Feel free to mix different types of greens together for a variety of flavor, color, and texture.
Kale, collards, mustard greens, swiss chard, dandelion greens, radish greens, beet greens, fresh snap peas, snow peas, zucchini, and spinach all work beautifully.
The dish can handle a little bitter, so one suggestion is to combine the bitter dandelion or radish greens with a sweeter green, such as spinach. Be creative, and enjoy your results.
Chickpeas and Greens with Sesame Seeds & Lemon
Helpful Kitchen Tools:
Start the dish and pop the mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or ghee, (any neutral-flavored oil suitable for high temperature cooking)
- ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds, see notes
Turn heat to low and add spices and cook for about 20 seconds
Add and cook 3-5 minutes
- 1 ½ cups chickpeas, (15.5-ounce can)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- ¾ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
Add next and cover
- 6 cups fresh greens, washed and coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup water
Stir in just before serving
- 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped coarsely (optional)
- Open your can of chickpeas. (To cook chickpeas from scratch, see notes.) Drain off the juice, and rinse chickpeas with cold water. Have the chickpeas ready by the stove. Wash and chop your greens. Squeeze fresh lemons. Get out the black mustard seeds, coriander powder, turmeric powder, and sesame seeds.
Make the chickpeas and greens
- Heat oil or ghee in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds into the oil and sauté until half of them begin to pop. Turn down the heat to low and add the coriander and turmeric powder. Sizzle to release the aroma and medicinal qualities for about 20 seconds.
- Immediately add the chickpeas to stop the powdered spices from burning, and stir. Add the lemon juice, salt, and sesame seeds, and mix well. Simmer for about 3–5 minutes on medium heat.
- Place the prepared greens on top of the chickpeas with a ¼ cup of water and cook, covered, for 2–3 minutes. Stir to incorporate the greens and continue to cook another 5 minutes. Continue cooking until the greens are soft and fully cooked.
- Stir in the optional chopped coriander just before serving.