Sweet and Sour Crispy Chickpeas

Sweet and Sour sauce containing no refined sugars? yes please!
Coconut sugar adding the sweetness to the sauce makes this dish a lot healthier than your usual sweet and sour sauce you might find at your local Chinese restaurant. Plus the flavour combinations in this sauce are delicious.

I hadn’t cooked with chickpeas for a while but I forgot how nice they taste especially once you crisp them up in the oven. But feel free to just chuck them in with the rest of the veggies should you not be fussed about crisping them up. These chickpeas are the main protein source in this dish and give a wonderful texture. Combined with peppers and broccoli to add nutritional content and colours. The cayenne pepper gives the dish a nice kick, but feel free to omit if spice isn’t your thing.

This dish requires little culinary skill and I can assure you will convert your meat loving acquaintances. The fibre from the chickpeas will make you feel fuller for longer (which you wouldn’t get from meat!).

The corn flour (which you can find cheap down your baking aisle in supermarkets), is a thickening agent. And therefore thickens the sweet and sour sauce in this dish. I also use it lot when marinating tofu and it is a good binding agent for the rest of the ingredients which makes it stick well to the tofu.

feeds 4 people
takes approx. 35 minutes in total.

Ingredients
For the sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 clove of garlic (crushed)
1 teaspoon of ginger (I’m lazy and use squeezy)
100ml boiling water
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
1 tablespoon of coconut sugar
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
1 tablespoon of tomato ketchup
1 tablespoon of cornflour

For the Crispy Chickpeas
2 cans of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
drizzle of sesame oil

For the Veggies
1 red pepper (cut into chunks)
1 yellow pepper (cut into chunks)

1 head of broccoli (cut into florets)
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
salt to taste
sesame seeds
basmati rice

Method
For the Crispy Chickpeas
1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
2. Empty your drained chickpeas onto a baking tray and season with garlic powder and a pinch of salt and pepper.
3. Drizzle with sesame oil and toss.
4. Bake in oven for approx. 25 minutes until crispy.

For the Veggies
1. On a medium heat add garlic to your saucepan and let cook for a couple of minutes.
2. Add your broccoli florets, peppers and season with cayenne pepper and salt.
3. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

For the sauce
1. On a medium heat, add your garlic and ginger to a saucepan and let cook for a couple of minutes.
2. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and combine thoroughly.
3. Let simmer for a couple of minutes.

To assemble
1. Add your crispy chickpeas and sauce to your veggies and combine thoroughly.
2. Serve with rice and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

Notes
If the sauce seems too thick for your preference, add some more water.
If the sauce seems too runny for your preference, add some more corn flour.

Enjoy! – share and tag your creations with me on Instagram @whatluceeats

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