Chickpea and tomato salad with coconut dressing

Turmeric, ginger and coconut create a brightly coloured, flavour-packed dressing.
Turmeric, ginger and coconut create a brightly coloured, flavour-packed dressing. Photo: William Meppem
Dietary
Dairy-free

I will almost always advocate boiling your own beans. But for a quick meal, tinned chickpeas are a life saver. I suggest roasting them to make their flavour a little more interesting but skip this step if you don't want to turn on the oven. Think of this salad as a cold curry – totally craveable and it will leave you licking the spoon.

Ingredients

420g tin cooked chickpeas

2 tsp (optional) plus 1 heaped tbsp coconut oil

1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped

2 tsp finely grated ginger

1 long red chilli, sliced

1 tsp ground turmeric

8 tbsp coconut milk (about 120ml)

2 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp fish sauce

juice of one lime (if not very juicy, use 2 limes)

250g punnet cherry tomatoes, halved

1 small cucumber, thickly sliced

small handful coriander leaves

small handful mint leaves

small handful basil leaves

Method

1. Roasting the chickpeas is optional although I think it really helps to elevate a tinned chickpea from boring and bland to delicious. Preheat the oven to 200C. Spread the chickpeas on a baking tray, toss with two teaspoons coconut oil and roast for 10-15 minutes until a bit crisp and dried. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before proceeding. Alternately, just rinse and dry the chickpeas and add to the salad if you're in a hurry.

2. To make the dressing, heat a pan to medium heat, add one heaped tablespoon coconut oil and the garlic, ginger and chilli and sizzle for 30 seconds. Add the turmeric and mix, then add the coconut milk and allow this to bubble up and simmer for two minutes. Add the sugar and fish sauce and mix to combine. Pour this mixture into a jar or small bowl and allow to cool. Once cooled, add the lime juice and check for seasoning. It should be salty, creamy and balanced, but not sweet.

3. Combine the chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber, herbs and the dressing in a large mixing bowl. Taste and check for seasoning. If you want a little more salt, add a pinch at a time until you get what you want. If you want more sourness, add a little more lime juice. Serve at room temperature.

Serve with my sweet and sour kaffir lime prawns for a refreshing summer meal.

12 ways with a tin of chickpeas