Braised Chickpeas w/ Haloumi & Mojo Verde

Braised Chickpeas w Haloumi & Mojo VerdeThis is a recipe by Ginny Grant found in the September 09 issue of Cuisine Magazine. When looking for something elegant yet informal to make for friends recently I couldn’t go past the enticing ingredients for this dish.

I have made it almost to the recipe a part from a few alterations including adding the lemon zest and I used a red wine vinegar because I did not have sherry or white vinegar.

Although there is essentially four parts, it is quite simple to make and the combination of flavours and texture is delicious. I was lucky enough to use baby home-grown onions that made perfect little crispy onions to go on top.

This is a great meal for an appetizer or ‘fork supper’ but also filling enough to have as a main served with crusty bread.

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Mojo Verde

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted & ground
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup fresh coriander (cilantro)
  • 2 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 4 tbs olive oil

Crispy Onion Rings

  • 1½- 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, sliced into thin rounds

Braised Chickpeas

  • 2 x 400g (14 oz) cans chickpeas, rinsed
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 red chilli, diced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 500g (18 oz) baby spinach, washed
  • 300g vegetarian haloumi
  • 1 lemon, zest only

To make the Mojo Verde process the garlic, coriander and cumin in a food processor add the vinegar and oil and continue to process until emulsified. Set aside. Heat the vegetable oil and onions in a small saucepan, slowly bringing to the boil.

Deep fry for around 10 minutes until the onion rings are golden. Remove and drain well on absorbent paper. Set aside. In a large saucepan heat the oil and fry the onion until soft; add the garlic and chilli and ground cumin, fry for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

Add the tomato paste and chickpeas, toss until chickpeas are well coated; add a little water (¼ cup) and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Meanwhile panfry the haloumi in batches over a medium heat in a little olive oil until golden; a minute or so each side. Drain well on absorbent paper and keep warm.

Add the spinach to the chickpeas and toss until just wilted. Serve the chickpeas in individual bowls topped with strips of warm haloumi drizzled with Mojo Verde and lemon zest and finished with crispy onions.

Great as an appetizer or tapas!! And wonderful as a main with warm crusty bread!!

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