8 Protein Rich Chickpea Dishes To Try: From Hummus To Chaat
Image Credit: Hummus is an easy to make healthy dip | Unsplash

Protein, the building block of life, is an essential component of a balanced diet. While many associate proteins with animal sources, the plant kingdom offers fantastic alternatives. Soy, quinoa, chia, and chickpeas are several plant-based sources of protein we can include in our diet. A healthy diet with protein in adequate amounts should not be the cause of headaches; it is very accessible and possible if you start utilising the humble legume chickpeas.

So, if you are a vegetarian who is confused as to how the protein content of your meals can be increased without compromising on taste or variety, here are some chickpea-based dishes that are not only rich in protein but also brimming with flavour. These ten recipes will show you just how versatile and delicious chickpeas can be. From chana chaat to hummus, let us see the many forms chickpeas can take.

Chana Masala:

Recipe - Chef Ashok Cooking And Vlog

This is a warm and comforting dish that delivers a protein-packed punch and is also a regularly made variety in our homes. Begin by sautéing onions, garlic, and ginger until fragrant, then add chickpeas, tomato puree, and regular spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala. Simmer until the chickpeas are tender and the gravy thickens, making a tangy, spicy dish. Finish with a sprinkle of fresh coriander leaves. Serve with rice for a satisfying and nutritious meal.

Homemade Hummus:

Hummus, the beloved Middle Eastern dip, is a creamy delight made from chickpeas. Blend chickpeas with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil until smooth. Season with salt and garnish with a dash of paprika or red chilli powder and a drizzle of olive oil. Whether as a dip for pita bread, a spread for sandwiches, or a companion to raw veggies, hummus is a protein-packed and versatile addition to any meal.

Chickpea and Spinach Stew:

For a comforting and nutritious dinner that is low in calories, try this chickpea and spinach stew. Start by sautéing onions and garlic, then add chickpeas, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, and a handful of fresh spinach. Season with smoked paprika, cumin, and red pepper flakes for a delicious and warm stew. It's the perfect dish to warm you up on a chilly evening, and it's packed with protein and essential vitamins.

Chana Chaat:

Recipe - Hebbars Kitchen

Elevate your salad game with a hearty chana chaat. Combine chickpeas with diced cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and green chillies. Toss everything with a little curd, lemon juice, and fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro. Season with salt and pepper, and if you like heat, just sprinkle red chilli powder. Finish things up with chaat masala and give it a good mix. This chopped salad not only satisfies your hunger but also provides a refreshing burst of protein-rich goodness.

Chickpea Tacos:

Taco night gets a plant-based makeover with chickpea tacos. Mash chickpeas and mix them with some oregano, diced onions, and bell peppers. Heat the mixture in a pan until it's slightly crispy and warmed through. Serve this chickpea filling in taco shells or tortillas and top it with your favourite taco toppings like salsa, tomato slices, lettuce, and cheese. These tacos are not only delicious but also a fantastic source of protein for your next taco Tuesday.

Chickpea and Quinoa Bowl:

Nourish your body with a chickpea and quinoa bowl that's filling, satisfying, and nutritious. Combine cooked quinoa, chickpeas, roasted low-calorie vegetables (such as sweet potatoes and broccoli), and a creamy curd or tahini dressing. To add an extra layer of crunch and nutritional value, top your bowl with chopped nuts or seeds like pistachio and flax. This protein-packed bowl is a perfect choice for a wholesome and well-balanced meal for people looking to go on a fitness journey.

Chickpea Burger:

Satisfy your burger cravings with a chickpea burger that's healthy and delicious. Blend chickpeas with breadcrumbs, diced onions, garlic, cumin, and an egg (or a flaxseed egg for a vegan option). Form the mixture into patties and pan-fry or bake them until they're golden brown. Serve your chickpea burger on multigrain buns with your favourite burger toppings like tomato slices, onions, or lettuce, and you'll have a protein-rich and mouthwatering meal that's perfect for a friends’ gathering.

Palak Chana: 

With the goodness of spinach and the protein boost of chickpeas, this is a super-healthy gravy dish to try. Blend spinach with blanched tomatoes, onions, and some cashews, and then cook it in a little ghee for 15–18 minutes. Add boiled chickpeas and kasuri methi to it, and your dish is ready to serve with either rotis or hot, steamed rice.