Black Chickpeas and Roasted Sweet Potatoes on Black Chickpea Hummus

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Pride in the name of dinner: I’m really proud of this healthy dish I came up with last week. It started in the morning when I cracked open a bag of black chickpeas, poured them into a large red bowl, filled it with cold water and left for the day. 8 hours later, when I came home, I drained off the liquid, put the chickpeas in a pot, added more cold water to cover and threw in a head of garlic, a bay leaf and a few dried Arbol chiles. Up to a simmer it went, I added salt (breaking convention) and cooked for about 90 minutes until a chickpea tasted creamy.

Meanwhile, I preheated the oven to 425 and cut up a sweet potato into cubes. I tossed the cubes with olive oil, salt, pepper and cumin seeds and threw them on to a cookie sheet.

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Into the oven it went and about 15 minutes later (though I don’t really remember the time; you have to go by looking) I checked and saw the sweet potatoes had caramelized nicely on the outside. A paring knife went through one easily and I tasted to make sure it was perfectly cooked. (I also burned my mouth.)

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When the chickpeas were done, I drained them, conserving the liquid.

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At this point, I’d pretty much formed the dish in my head: I’d serve it on a mound of black chickpea hummus. Instead of dirtying my food processor, I decided to make it in a mortar and pestle. I started with garlic, cumin seeds and salt.

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Once those were pounded into a paste, I added about a cup of chickpeas which I smashed along with 1/4 cup of tahini and the juice of half a lemon. I tasted for salt and adjusted until everything was potent and wonderful. (The conserved chickpea liquid also came in handy to lighten things up a bit.)

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As a final step, I stirred together the remaining chickpeas and the sweet potatoes along with a splash of olive oil and lemon juice, salt and pepper, tasting for balance.

To serve, I spooned the hummus into a bowl, topped with the sweet potato mixture and sprinkled everything with Za’atar and freshly chopped parsley.

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Typing up a formal recipe for this would be silly because it’s more about the ideas rather than the specific amounts. If you can’t find black chickpeas, this would look equally nice with regular chickpeas but not as striking in terms of color.

And there you have it: an original healthy dinner by yours truly. You can start applauding now.

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7 comments

  1. First, I love anything with sweet potatoes in it. Second, I’ve never even heard of black chickpeas before! Thanks for the great recipe!

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