January 15, 2020
Food can evoke deep-rooted memories, and every once in a while we eat something that transports us back to our childhood. I had that experience last week tasting fresh green garbanzo beans for the first time as an adult. In India, we threw them into a curry or a masala or made fresh dal out of them. But after tasting them again now, the best way to enjoy their freshness may be to just eat them raw or minimally cooked. In season through the spring, they are tender, bright green, cook in minutes and shockingly delicious. And they look laborious but peeling them takes minutes. Purée the garbanzo beans for a spread or blanch them and add to a salad or a stew.
1 pound fresh green garbanzo beans, shelled
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Pinch of sea salt
1 small serrano pepper, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped mint
Pomegranate seeds and freshly grated coconut, for garnish
Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and pop the cumin seeds. Within 2 to 3 seconds, add the garbanzo beans, salt, and serrano pepper.
Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the water has evaporated. Turn the heat off, stir in the chopped mint and garnish with pomegranate and grated coconut.
Be careful when popping spices. If the cumin seeds appear blackish brown, discard and start over.
Substitute with black salt for an Indian street-food flavor.
Fresh garbanzo beans can be found at many produce markets — spring is when they are in season.
Leave out the serrano for a milder version, but add black pepper for balance.
December 02, 2022