Chickpea
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A Hummus Recipe from Trinidad

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - August 20, 2016

A chickpea recipe from Port of Spain

By Fernando Franco
CJ Contributor

Plant-based protein meals can be quite the delight when created with proper ingredients.  As an Argentinean, I enjoy all types of meats, especially steak; however, it’s nice to switch it up and incorporate these kind of dishes into my diet every so often. Even more, the evolving demands of consumers has resulted in many menus featuring vegetables as the main course of meals.

Plant-based proteins may not be the first choice for many people, but with proper preparation, it can leave you feeling full and energized with less calories.  Quinoa, chickpeas and beans are loaded with important nutrients and have become very trendy among health conscious people.  I have decided to share a few of my favorite plant-centric proteins and the health benefits they provide.

Quinoa:

·         Very high in fiber

·         Gluten-free

·         High in iron and magnesium

·         High in antioxidants

Chickpeas (also known as Garbanzo beans):

·         Fiber Advantage & Weight Loss

·         Manganese for Energy Production

·         Stabilizing Blood Sugar and Low Glycemic Index

·         Ability to lower Bad Cholesterol

Beans:

·         Preventing heart disease

·         Fights against cancer

·         Lowers cholesterol

·         Helps manage diabetes

Chickpeas are popular in Trinidad cuisine for their use in two of our most recognized dishes – doubles and roti – but can also be used for many other recipes. Below you will find one of my favorite chickpea dishes at Hyatt Regency Trinidad.

Basic hummus recipe

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

2 x 400g cans of chickpeas (reserve the liquid and a few chickpeas for decoration)

4 tsp tahini

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp crushed sea salt

6 tbsp. quality extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)

3½ tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice\

Paprika (optional)

Coriander or parsley leaves (optional)

Directions:

Rinse the chickpeas in cold water and pour into the food processor. Add the tahini, crushed garlic, salt, lemon juice and seven tablespoons of the reserved liquid from the cans. Turn on the food processor and slowly pour in the oil while it mixes.

When the mixture is fully blended and smooth, pour it into a serving dish. Drizzle with some more extra virgin olive oil and decorate with a few whole chickpeas. Sprinkle with paprika and finely chopped coriander or parsley leaves, for color.

Born in Argentina, a country of diverse culinary influences, Hyatt Regency Trinidad’s Executive Chef Fernando Franco has been using his love for food and his dedication to his craft to produce memorable and tasty meals with his talented team in downtown Port of Spain for more than eight years. His careers spans more than 27 years of innovative culinary creations with inspiration drawn from multiple countries including Spain, Portugal, Italy, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Hawaii.

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