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  • Chickpeas and Kale Stir Fry

    Posted on | February 18, 2009 | 76 Comments |

    I am not exaggerating when I say that this is my new favorite dish! I have always liked chickpeas aka garbanzo beans aka Kabuli Chana, but the black chana which we call Kadala in Kerala has always been my favorite. I normally buy canned garbanzo beans only for quick fix dishes and for salads, but recently I came across an interesting recipe called Lemony Chickpea Stir-Fry on 101 Cookbooks. Just reading about the golden, crusty, pan-fried chickpeas had me drooling and made me wonder why I never tried chickpeas this way!

    The original recipe calls for tofu and zucchini to make it a complete meal, but I went for a simple chickpea and kale combination which made a quick and easy side dish that tasted truly spectacular! Final touch in this dish is some freshly squeezed lemon juice along with some lemon zest that totally elevates the taste to a different level. You have to try it to believe how tasty this simple dish is! You wouldn’t want to have canned garbanzo beans any other way! Okay, I’ll stop now, your tastebuds might react in a totally different way, so just try it and see.

    Kale is one of my favorite greens and it is in season now. Kale’s slightly bitter, peppery kick and the fact that it is impossible to overcook makes it a great candidate in this stir-fry. You can also use other greens but I strongly recommend Kale. Kale is an excellent source of Vitamins, calcium and fiber. It also contains antioxidants and improves digestive health as well as builds up immunity. Kale is available year round, but the Kale grown in the cold weather is supposedly the sweetest, so now it a good time to try it. This month’s Bon Appétit magazine features Kale as the In Season ingredient and there is a Tuscan Kale Chips recipe which has caught my eye. It is nothing but roasted Tuscan Kale leaves with olive oil, salt and vinegar. I have to try it as soon as I find some Tuscan Kale. Here I’ve used the regular curly kale.


    Chickpeas and Kale Stir Fry

    adapted from Lemony Chickpea Stir-Fry @ 101 Cookbooks


    • 1 can pre-cooked chickpeas/garbanzo beans
    • 1 bunch Kale, tough stems removed and chopped
    • 1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
    • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    • Red pepper flakes to taste
    • salt to taste
    • 1 tbsp Olive oil
    • Juice and zest of 1 baby lemon


    Drain and rinse the chickpeas. In a large non-stick pan, heat the olive oil and saute the shallots and garlic till soft. Add salt and the chickpeas and saute till the chickpeas turn golden and crusty, about 8-10 minutes. Add the red pepper and mix well. Add the kale and saute for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the lemon zest and lemon juice and mix well. Season with more salt if needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    Simple isn’t it? And did I mention it is perfect for South Beach Diet – all phases?

    I haven’t participated in any events in a while, but I found some perfect events to send this entry in. Since I used and talked about the seasonal ingredient Kale, I am sending this to Maninas for the February edition of Eating with the Seasons. And as Chickpea is the main player in this dish, this is also my entry for My Legume Love Affair – Eighth Helping hosted by The Well-Seasoned Cook, Susan.

    BTW, we are off to India next Thursday for a 3-week vacation. S things are really busy around here; finishing up the stuff at work, shopping, packing etc. That’s the reason I haven’t been able to update this space frequently or blog-hop lately. My RSS reader is overflowing already! Hopefully I haven’t missed much.  I might get to post at least once more before we leave, and hopefully from back home as well. But in case I go missing for weeks, just wanted to let you all know that’s where I will be!

    Category: For Vegetarians, Lentils and Legumes, Side Dish - Dry, Side Dishes, Snack Ideas, South Beach Diet Friendly, Vegetarian

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    76 Responses to “Chickpeas and Kale Stir Fry”

    1. Nags
      February 19th, 2009 @ 11:37 pm

      I make the same recipe with chickpeas and spinach. Adding lime is interesting. Will try that next time!

      • sig
        February 20th, 2009 @ 11:23 pm

        You must try with Kale or other bitter greens, it will taste totally different from the spinach version I am sure! :)

    2. Happy Cook
      February 20th, 2009 @ 1:04 am

      I have neve rhad this combo looks really yumm.
      Looks like there is grilled fish thee too.
      Love th pic.

      • sig
        February 20th, 2009 @ 11:24 pm

        Thanks HC! Try the combo, you’ll like it… :)

    3. Maninas
      February 20th, 2009 @ 1:49 am

      Hey girl, you’ve managed to combine some of my absolute favourites here: the kale and the chickpeas! Fantastic!

      I’m looking forward to receiving your entry.

      • sig
        February 20th, 2009 @ 11:24 pm

        Thanks for hosting the event Maninas, I’ve sent the entry!

    4. Asha
      February 20th, 2009 @ 4:44 am

      OH, I posted a Chole and Dill chaat at Aroma!! It almost looks like your dish too. Kale is very healthy, enjoy.

      Have fun in India. We have Shiva Ratri, so I will be busy too! :)

      • sig
        February 20th, 2009 @ 11:24 pm

        I will check it out soon Asha! Thanks :)

    5. indosungod
      February 20th, 2009 @ 5:41 am

      That looks so good and I am curious about the other platter peeking from behind!
      I am buying kale today. I have never tried Kale though I see it everytime at the store. I have a crib about chickpeas, the ones I have bought recently have bloated to the size of a quarter :( both from the Indian store and Goya brand.

      • sig
        February 20th, 2009 @ 11:26 pm

        bloated chickpeas? That sounds disgusting :) I haven’t had that experience yet… These were tiny out of the can, and they shrank even more after pan-frying. Hope you got to buy that Kale, you’ll love it.

        Oh, and the other platter is roasted sardines.

    6. Mamatha
      February 20th, 2009 @ 6:12 am

      You have to try it to believe how tasty this simple dish is! You wouldn’t want to have canned garbanzo beans any other way!

      Ok, that makes me want to try this pronto. Are those sardines in the background? Here’s another kale side that is really simple and goes well with grilled salmon (or any other fish). Blanch chopped kale till tender. Saute chopped onion in olive oil till transluscent, add a splash of blasamic vinegar and the blanched kale, add a few turns of freshly ground pepper and voila!

      • sig
        February 20th, 2009 @ 11:20 pm

        Yep, you got it right Mamatha, those are sardines :) And thanks for the quick Kale recipe, loved the addition of the balsamic vinegar!

    7. Laavanya
      February 20th, 2009 @ 6:31 am

      What an interesting combination.. i’ve not cooked much with Kale before but you sure make it sound so tempting.

      Have fun during your India trip.

      • sig
        February 20th, 2009 @ 11:27 pm

        Thanks Laav! Try Kale, it is a green with character :)

    8. Sundar
      February 20th, 2009 @ 7:04 am

      I wonder how it will taste if tamarind is used instead of lemon,

      • sig
        February 20th, 2009 @ 11:21 pm

        Hi Sundar, as this dish has very subtle flavors, I think tamarind will be too overpowering! But that’s just me, do let me know if you try!

    9. Soma
      February 20th, 2009 @ 7:13 am

      sounds really really gooooood. love both, so no reason why they shouldn’t taste great together!

      • sig
        February 20th, 2009 @ 11:28 pm

        :) Not only that they taste great together, they taste even better together :)

    10. Rajitha
      February 20th, 2009 @ 7:23 am

      will make this for tomorrow’s dinner …but with spinach…have that in the freezer. looks great..i love chickpeas..any color!…have fun in India….

      • sig
        February 20th, 2009 @ 11:22 pm

        Frozen spinach? Are you listening girl, I said KALE! Fresh, sturdy KALE!

    11. tbc
      February 20th, 2009 @ 7:25 am

      I do not use kale a lot.. have made pancakes and thoran with it but that’s about it. I too make something similar with chickpeas to go as a side dish.
      You’re off to India again?! You just went a couple of months back, right? You lucky thing! :neutral: :sad:

      Have a good trip and a fabulous vacation, Sig! :smile:

      • sig
        February 20th, 2009 @ 11:35 pm

        Kale pancakes? Now, that’s an idea :)
        And thanks for the wishes.. By the way, my last trip was 11 months ago! :)

    12. sathyasankar
      February 20th, 2009 @ 8:24 am

      The dish looks so good sig ! i could also see some fish peeking from the side :mrgreen: .

      • sig
        February 20th, 2009 @ 11:35 pm

        Thanks Sathya! :)

    13. Madhumathi
      February 20th, 2009 @ 10:35 am

      Hi..great combo and the stir fry is seems healthy.And you have clicked it b’fully :razz:

      • sig
        February 20th, 2009 @ 11:35 pm

        Thanks Madhumathi!

    14. Mythili
      February 20th, 2009 @ 11:00 am

      Super combo! And it is a quick fix too. I love it even more..

      • sig
        February 20th, 2009 @ 11:36 pm

        :) Thanks M!

    15. SuperChef
      February 20th, 2009 @ 11:18 am

      looks very healthy..and the lime addition kinda gives it a “chaat’ feel…i think i’ll like that!! :)

      • sig
        February 20th, 2009 @ 11:36 pm

        :) Chat, yeah, I guess! Though I am not a chat fan, so I don’t want to call it that.. :)

    16. Gowri
      February 20th, 2009 @ 11:20 am

      My recent “thing” in life is that I want to have a green in every meal! Be it BF, Lunch or dinner… so I end up adding spinach to just about everything I make. Kale might be a good substitute too. I’ll definitely make some of this over the weekend – this can be a good mid-meal snack!

      • sig
        February 20th, 2009 @ 11:38 pm

        :) That is a great “thing” to have.. Must be tough to incorporate greens in every meal, right? I am trying to get to once a day, and I’ve been really really good lately… :)

    17. DK
      February 20th, 2009 @ 12:42 pm

      I love chickpeas to death. Have combined it with almost so many greens except Kale! This is a must try for me. Yum! Thanks for recipe sig

      • sig
        February 20th, 2009 @ 11:38 pm

        I haven’t even thought of pan-frying chickpeas ever! Try with Kale, you’d love it I am sure..

    18. varsha
      February 20th, 2009 @ 12:46 pm

      Sig..Oh..vaccation..I miss kerala soo much..:(..happy hol’s..
      I liked this recipe..I am not sure about Kale..have Broccoli in my mind and fridge.. :grin:

      • sig
        February 20th, 2009 @ 11:40 pm

        Thanks Varsha! :) When you say you are not sure about Kale, you mean you don’t like it? It tastes great in this, I am sure broccoli will work too, but you won’t get the full effect :D

    19. Ashima Taneja
      February 20th, 2009 @ 2:25 pm

      even I have never tried pan-fried chickpeas …… recently saw it being used by a chef in an episode of “chopped” at foodnetwork …….. will definitely try this …in fact I had plans of making chickpeas over the weekend … so it is a perfect fit ……

      enjoy your India trip …. I am jealous :mrgreen:

      • sig
        February 20th, 2009 @ 11:42 pm

        I started watching Chopped recently too… Some of the ingredient choices are so weird I thought! But still it looks much tougher than Iron Chef, without having infinite supply of every known ingredient and all the latest gadgets and gizmos in the kitchen! :)

    20. Cham
      February 20th, 2009 @ 3:46 pm

      Have a wonderful time in India, so will u skip the SBD? Only 3 weeks u can go with moderation :grin: , the kale and chickpeas sound perfect !

      • sig
        February 20th, 2009 @ 11:44 pm

        Thanks Cham! Yep, it will be good bye SBD for 3 weeks… I guess I’ll be okay for the most part at home, since our staple is the very SBD friendly rose matta rice. But still there will be plenty of other temptations, and I am just going to eat everything and stick to the moderation mantra… :)

    21. Divz
      February 20th, 2009 @ 11:17 pm

      hey lovely colors..
      was curious to know whats served on the plate adjacent to chickpeas and kale stir fry in the pic u clicked?

      • sig
        February 20th, 2009 @ 11:45 pm

        Thanks Divz! The other plate has roasted sardines with some lemon thyme sprinkled over.. :)

    22. Meeta
      February 21st, 2009 @ 2:33 am

      What are the odds that both of us cook and think of the same food and that to with something like kale + legumes lol! I love chickpeas too so this will certainly be next on my kale list.

    23. Susan
      February 21st, 2009 @ 5:36 am

      Beautiful :idea: ! I’m crazy about kale *and* chickpeas. If I had some fresh leaves, I’d make this right now and slap a fried egg on top for breakfast.

      Thanks so much, Sig, for your MLLA8 recipe!

    24. Siri
      February 21st, 2009 @ 7:31 am

      Gorgeous. :grin: love the combo of chickpeas with kale. never tried this type of greens though. will get it next time. I am on a ‘week without shopping’ funda for this week :shock: I have to finish off stuff in my freezer before getting new stuff. :lol:

      Have a great trip to India Sig. :smile: It has been more than an year that I had mine. Miss my parents so badly. :cry:


    25. Gini
      February 21st, 2009 @ 9:11 am

      I have bookmarked that recipe from 101 cookbooks. This combo looks loveley.

    26. Laura
      February 21st, 2009 @ 11:31 am

      How much kale do you mean by one bunch. And I just tried your avocado and tomato salad with blood orange dressing recipe….delicious!

    27. mandira
      February 21st, 2009 @ 4:10 pm

      this is the second kale recipe I saw today and this looks fantastic Sig. This is a sign that I have to try kale now… can’t wait!

    28. veena
      February 23rd, 2009 @ 3:43 am

      Hi ..
      Chick peak with spinach ..Sounds great ..Never tried this combination..Wonderful pic as well…….

    29. sandeepa
      February 23rd, 2009 @ 6:16 am

      You are off to India ? have great fun and impress those people with your new look :) :grin:

    30. Renuka
      February 23rd, 2009 @ 9:42 am

      Hi Sig

      You mentioned that the original recipe had Tofu and Zucchini. When do they recommend adding those? Do you need to saute tofu seperately and then add?

      Anyways, this sounds good just the way you have it. have to try it soon!

    31. Sra
      February 24th, 2009 @ 11:17 am

      Sig, just came back from a trip and find out you’re coming to India. Well, you know where to meet me :grin: Have fun and keep in touch.

    32. Nirmala
      February 24th, 2009 @ 9:00 pm

      Chickpeas are my favorite but only in sundals. This combo looks very attractive. Adding lime juice is a nice twist. But my eyes are fixed upon the sardines dear :)

    33. Eve
      February 25th, 2009 @ 7:00 pm

      This looks delicious! Have to try this one out soon. Always nice to have another good kale recipe at hand.


    34. Gayathi
      February 26th, 2009 @ 1:01 pm

      you have a great professional blog, I am really happy to invite you to participate in the contest that is getting launced on Feb 20 2009 – check out this link for details – contest

    35. Divya Vikram
      March 1st, 2009 @ 5:26 pm

      Sounds really healthy.And have a great time in India.

    36. Aparna
      March 5th, 2009 @ 9:15 am

      I love chickpeas but I still haven’t acquired a taste for kale.
      I finally come around to find tou’re away.:) Have a wonderful vacation back in India.

    37. Sampada
      March 11th, 2009 @ 10:02 am

      chickpeas and kale stir fry an inspiring post. i must make this soon. at all times i have a rough time difficulty to find ingredients.. yet i found a great resource for ingredients and food products from around the world.

    38. Mamatha
      April 26th, 2009 @ 5:05 pm

      Tried this today. Loved it! I didn’t have kale on hand, so used spinach instead.

    39. PSSP
      July 22nd, 2009 @ 6:00 pm

      This is very nice and the kids love it. Healthy for them too…

      BTW, the platter peeking from the background, looks soooooo… appetizing. Can you post the recipe for that? Fresh sardines? Were they deep fried?

      Awesome recipes, as usual!

      • sig
        July 24th, 2009 @ 9:35 am

        It is grilled sardines. Recipe here

    40. Shelly
      December 15th, 2009 @ 8:14 am

      I tried this recipe last night and I loved it so much that I have to leave you a comment. It was awesome and so easy and quick!!
      Kale is one of my favorite veggies and I actually cook it with another legume all the time- White Beans! Try it stewed with some Great Northern or Navy Beans, and seasoned with pepper, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce. It’s really good!

    41. Neelu
      September 16th, 2010 @ 12:44 am

      Made it tonight and it was soo yummy, loved the combination of Gazebo beans and Kale :)

      • Neelu
        September 16th, 2010 @ 1:09 am

        sorry garbanzo beans :)

    42. Karuna
      November 16th, 2011 @ 10:26 am

      Someone passed this along to someone else on Twitter, so I tried it and by golly, it is my favorite dish these days. Yumtastic.

    43. Yams
      January 2nd, 2012 @ 5:58 pm

      This is awesome. Accidently hopped on it while touring for new recipes for the SBD. Have been on it twice before with good success but the recipes in the book are just too boring. I love the recipes here. Last time, I used to make Rasam (south indian soup) and drink it with a side of veggies. One question:
      how much lentils can I have on the phase 1 – Is having a garbanzo bean salad and your lentil dosa too much? I had no idea that lentils were allowed. I could live on them forever.

    44. K
      January 12th, 2012 @ 6:08 am

      How many servings does the recipe yield?

    45. Kimberly
      May 10th, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

      This recipe was easy and delicious. I made it for a main dish, so I put it over a Trader Joes long grain brown rice, black barley, and Daikon radish seed mix. And sprinkled a little fresh grated Parmesan over it. Thank you for sharing!