• Kris

Chickpea salad with katsu curry dressing

Toss your chickpeas in this dressing with a Japanese flair. Inimitable, delicious and protein packed. Talk about a jazzed-up salad! Vegan, gluten free, oil free.

Do you ever feel like the world of salad dressings is kind of inadequate? I mean there are so many types of them and all! The creamy ones, the fruties, the vinaigrettes, the sugar free -oil free- everything free kinds and whatnot? But sometimes I get so bored, with all of them!! And there is only one way to enjoy your salad then. Invent your own dressing!

So, this day I wanted to make a chickpea salad. For a hearty and refreshing lunch, you know? And this dressing situation struck me hard! I had to make something new. New and totally out of the box (or out of the bottle should we say?). And then my crazy bulb went off! I thought “I know! Katsu curry! And why the heck not?”

Katsu curry is actually a popular curry dish in Japan. It was influenced by the British tradespeople who visited Japan frequently. Curry lovers, these Brits always are! But I guess the point of origin was actually India. Anyways, we’re not going in the histories today.

Katsu curry is actually breaded and fried meat served with a curry sauce. As the name suggests, it contains flavors of both curry powder and typical Japanese ingredients like rice wine, fermented soybean paste called ‘miso’ and ‘shoyu’ (that’s only a chefy Japanese name for soy sauce, folks). It’s sweet, savory and umami at the same time.

So, I thought, lets make the sauce and use it as my salad dressing today; keeping the other ingredients of the chickpea salad the same. How’s that sound? Funky, absolutely! And it was!

Now, of course there is no breaded and fried meat here. I dredged the chickpeas in chickpea flour and roasted in the oven to give them some crunch. Then added the other usual salad ingredients. And tossed with this totally avant-garde dressing. Sweet baby Jesus! What delicious it was!

Go, give ‘funky’ a try baby! You’ll be amazed!

About the dish :

Course – Entrée

Servings – 4

Difficulty level – Easy

Recipe type – Vegan, gluten free, oil free

Does it keep –Keeps in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

What you need :

For the chickpeas :

2 cups cooked chickpea (about 1.5 cans)

1 tablespoon soy sauce (gluten free if needed)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

¼ cup chickpea flour or corn starch

For the katsu curry dressing :

1 large carrot

1 medium onion

5 cloves of garlic

1 x 1” piece of ginger

½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari

1.5 tablespoon curry powder

1 teaspoon garam masala

2 teaspoons miso paste (white, red or yellow, anything you can find)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon mirin (rice wine)

1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar (any vinegar acts actually)

1 teaspoon agave nectar (or maple syrup)

1 teaspoon sriracha or any other hot sauce (optional)

For the salad assembly :

1 medium apple (Fuji/ Gala or Honey crisp works best)

1 large stalk of celery

½ medium onion

1 jalapeno pepper (optional)

Lettuce leaves to serve on

What you do :

1. Pre heat your oven to 400◦F /200◦C/ gas mark 6.

2. Toss chickpeas with soy sauce, garlic powder, black peppers, cayenne and chickpea flour.

3. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes, stirring once in the mid-point of cooking. [See here how to cook chickpeas from scratch].

4. Cut carrot and onion into fat square pieces. Toss them with apple cider vinegar.

5. Peel and slice ginger. You don’t need thin slices, thick are just fine. Leave the garlic unpeeled.

6. Put all the veggies on a cookie sheet and roast along with the chickpeas for 15 minutes. Take the garlic and ginger out and roast rest of the veggies for 15 min. more.

7. Squish out the garlic out of the peel.

8. When all the veggies are roasted, add them into a blender, add the roasted garlic and ginger, add ¼ cup of water and blend into a puree. You might need to add up-to ½ cup of water to run the blender smoothly.

9. Put a skillet on medium heat. Add couple of tablespoons of water to it. Add tomato paste and curry powder, garam masala and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

10. Add the vegetable puree. Add soy sauce, miso paste, vinegar and cook for 2-3 minutes more.

11. Now add mirin, vinegar and agave. Stir well and cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn the heat off and let it cool.

12. While the sauce is cooling, chop the apple, celery, jalapeno and onion finely.

13. In a large bowl add chickpeas, apple, celery, jalapeno and onion.

14. Toss with katsu curry dressing. Spoon on lettuce leaves. Serve immediately.

15. If you want to keep the left over, do not dress it. The dressing will make the chickpeas soggy if kept for long. Store the roasted chickpeas in an air tight container and refrigerate. The dressing also keeps well in a jar in the refrigerator.

Nutritional info per serving :

Calories – 407 Cal

Carbohydrate – 79 g

Protein – 16 g

Fat – 5 g

Saturated fat – 3 g

Sugar – 27 g

Sodium – 528 mg

Dietary fiber – 16 g

So, you see? It wasn’t that hard, was it? With just a little adventurous spirit, and a crazy a** recipe like this, you can make a salad that is really ‘dressed to kill’!

Light, peace and avocados; from my heart to yours! Do you have any questions? Any feedback after you’ve made it? I’d surely like to hear from you! Feel free to comment below.


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