Monday, 28 May 2012

Curried chickpea salad with Apetina cheese (Summer Salad Recipe 2)

Finally we have been blessed with bearable weather. Temperatures are still not in the 20's yet, but there is plenty of sunshine to get me going through the day. I have been making a lot of summer dishes to celebrate that (yes like I mentioned before, I'm thoroughly obsessed with the weather) ..with salads, cocktails and mocktails topping the list.

Honestly speaking, I am not that much of a salad eater, which probably also explains why I dont have that many salad recipes on my blog. I can occasionally gorge on a ceaser salad or a caprese as a side, but can never really eat an entire salad as a main dish, in spite of it being in trend and such. That is why, this curried chickpea salad came as a major surprise. We just couldnt stop with a couple of spoonfuls. In fact, we ended up polishing it off at one go, leaving a much anticipated lunch date for another day, since we were not gonna be able to do justice to it.
The salad is perfect for a summer picnic in the park, goes well with BBQ'ed meat, or just dress it up a bit and give it centre stage at the dining table when you are entertaining guests, and it will do the rest. Which brings me to the star attraction in the salad- a new cheese I recently discovered called Apetina. It's this fabulously creamy, slightly tangy cheese that does wonders to your palate. It is semi-solid in nature, which means consistencies can be according to your liking. Crumbling it, making it paste like or just slicing it up to throw into a salad is no big feat with Apetina cheese. Apart from the classic blocks or cubes, you can also choose from varieties such as the garlic and herb cubes, basil and oregano cubes, the sundried tomato snack pack, the garlic and olive snack pack and for the health conscious ones- the light blocks and cubes (with only 10 percent fat) should do the trick. Seriously, if you havent tried it yet, you most certainly must and wont be disappointed!
I have used the cheese as pizza topping, used it in filo parcels and even ate a few cubes just like that. What tops the recipes I've tried is this chickpea salad, which, whether you serve hot or cold, cannot go wrong. Its as summery as it can get with full of fresh and bold flavours and the slight heat from the chillies. I have tried to do a step by step procedure here, so warning you of the photo overload in advance.

Curried chickpea salad with Apetina cheese
Chickpeas- 1, 400gm can.
Olive oil- 4 tsp
Shallot- 1, thinly sliced
Tomato- 1 small, finely chopped
Curry powder- 1/2 tsp
Garlic powder- 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder- 1/4 tsp
Freshly ground pepper- 1/4 tsp
Dried chillies- 2, crushed
Salt- to taste
Lemon juice- 1 tsp
Apetina (classic block) cheese- 100 gms, drained and crumbled
Coriander leaves- 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Red chilli- 1, sliced (optional)
Rinse and drain the chickpeas.
Gently pat with a kitchen towel and tip them into a baking dish large enough to accommodate the chickpeas in one layer.
Drizzle 2 tsp of olive oil over them and toss well to combine.
Roast in an oven preheated at 200C for about 30 minutes, taking it out at intervals and giving a good toss/ flip for even roasting.
Keep a close eye, as you dont want to burn them.
They should be golden brown in colour once done.
 Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan.
Throw in the onions and saute till they turn light brown in colour.
Add the tomatoes and continue to stir till they become slightly mushy.
Mix together the curry, garlic, cumin and pepper powders along with the crushed dried chillies and add to the tomato-onion mix.
Add enough salt and saute on medium heat till the oil starts separating slightly.
Tip in the roasted chickpeas and stir for a couple of minutes, just to get the curried masala to coat the peas properly.
Take them off the fire and transfer onto serving bowls.
Add the lemon juice and give a quick stir.
If you plan on serving it immediately, then scatter the crumbled Apetina cheese on top (generously) followed by the chopped coriander leaves and garnish with the sliced red chilli for good measure.
If you want to have it cold then chill the curried chickpeas and just before serving sprinkle the cheese and coriander.
Served with a huge mug of beer, it tasted heavenly.
Notes: Roast the chickpeas in a frying pan on medium heat, stirring continuously, instead of doing it in the oven 
If you cant get hold of curry powder, then use any meat masala in its place.
The salad is a little on the spicier side. Omit the crushed red chillies if you dont prefer the heat.

There is also a FB competition going on, where in visitors who like the Apetina FB page and vote for their favourite salad will be entered into a prize draw for a picnic hamper (you really cant say no to that) and ultimately the final week prize which will be a BBQ (gasp!). So dont forget to head on over to their page and vote!
Viral video by ebuzzing


Priya said...

Wonderful bowl of super nutritious and flavourful salad, love that crumbled cheese on the top.Loving bowl.

Priti said...

Yum can't get better than this

Pippa W said...

Wow! It looks delicious. Can't wait to try it.

Priyanka said...

Super nutritious looking salad. Great pics too

Torviewtoronto said...

colourful delicious salad

Sharmilee! :) said...

Colorful and healthy salad...lovely idea of summer salad recipe!

Cathleen said...

This looks great! I have never heard of Apetina cheese, but I will go looking for it. I also love chickpeas. Everything about this salad is calling out to me :p

Poonam Borkar said...

very delicious and healthy salad..lovely clicks!

Spice up the Curry said...

this looks delicious

jimi said...

I’m surely coming again to read these articles and blogs. vegetable recipes

jimi said...

I’m surely coming again to read these articles and blogs. vegetable recipes

Kitchen Boffin said...

Cheese in salads is always appealing.. that must be the reason why Greek Salad remains my favourite. Never tried Apetina cheese.. Sounds like it would raise my appetite for salads :)

Suchi said...

Looks awesome, I like the fact that it looks so spicy and the beans look actually cooked like our in the UK forces us all to become weather obsessed I guess...yayyy to the gorgeous weather...though they are predicting thunder storm for the last few days and we still keep getting good weather, I am a lil confused :-) said...

I love chickpeas salads!! Healthy and filling!!

Monet said...

How perfect! Ryan was looking for a chickpea salad recipe. I'm eager to pass this his way. Thank you for sharing with me...and for making my stomach grumble (even after a yummy dinner!) I hope you have a wonderful week!

Sarah said...

that looks wonderful! And it fits my diet perfectly well!

MJ said...

Wow....such a wonderful write up!! Love your blog.

Shabs.. said...

Very nice....I loved that bowl!

Anonymous said...

These days we are also hogging a lot of chickpea salad!
The cheese looks very much like feta cheese.

Anonymous said...

I just saw this recipe after having made a chickpea salad myself in my little Amsterdam kitchen. Never thought to curry them! This looks great and I'll have to try it next time...great food photography too. really enjoyed my visit.

Here's my chickpea creation if you're interested :)