Greek chickpea stew (or soup) is made with only a few ingredients. However, the dish has an earthy, wholesome taste that will make you want to eat a lot more. It is usually slow-cooked to let all the juices and spices blend in. The dish can be eaten at lunch or dinner.
“This ‘soup’ is meant to be a bit thick and the beans a bit mushy, which is what makes it so good to eat… These taste better the next day and will be even thicker as the beans will have absorbed all the liquid,” according to Olive Tomato. Here is the recipe to make a perfect Greek chickpea stew.
To prepare the dish, you will need about 250 grams of dry chickpeas, a quarter cup of olive oil, a large onion, 1 garlic, 1 bay leaf, salt, pepper, and lemon. First, you need to soak the chickpeas for at least 12 hours. Rinse them thoroughly and place them in a pot with water. Once the water starts to boil, take out the chickpeas and begin rinsing once again, focusing on peeling off the skin.
Put the chickpeas in a pot and add in the garlic, diced onion, bay leaf, olive oil, and salt. Pour in just enough water so that the chickpeas are submerged to about 3/4 of an inch. Let the water simmer slowly for two to three hours. Make sure you don’t let this come to a boil since the recipe won’t come out as well as it would through slow cooking. Once the time is up, test the softness of the chickpeas by mashing them. When serving, add some lemon juice, ground pepper, and olive oil. An authentic Greek chickpea stew is ready.
Though the dish is typically eaten hot, you can also eat it cold. Just place it in the fridge and eat it the next day. The flavors will be a bit stronger. If there are any leftovers after eating the dish, don’t throw it away. Add some more lemon juice, tahini, and a clove of garlic. Blend it all together and you now have hummus. Remember to add 60 grams of tahini for every 250 grams of chickpeas.
Just 1 ounce of chickpeas provides 14 percent of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) of manganese, 12 percent RDI of folate, and 5 percent RDI of copper and phosphorus. Plus, you also get 3 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. For people who do not eat animal products, chickpeas can act as an excellent source of proteins which is necessary for muscle strength and bone health. Chickpea protein can help you feel full and keep your appetite under control.
“Some studies have suggested that the quality of the protein in chickpeas is better than that of other types of legumes. That’s because chickpeas contain almost all the essential amino acids, except for methionine… For this reason, they are not a complete source of protein. To make sure you get all the amino acids in your diet, it’s important to pair chickpeas with another protein source, such as whole grains,” according to Healthline.
Whether you use dried or canned chickpeas, both have a low glycemic index, meaning that your body absorbs and ingests them slowly. Chickpeas also contain a type of starch that is digested slowly called amylose. Together, they can help to keep your blood sugar levels in check.