Salad of Spiced Chickpeas and Puffed Rice for Meat Free Week

I have finally started using Instagram properly. I’ve now set it up so that I’m following my favourite people. This allows me to have a sticky beak into their latest adventures, to gawk at their beautiful photos and to save them for inspiration at some later date.

I’ve also been saving all of Nigel Slater’s latest instagrams. You see, he is currently travelling around Japan, and accompanying his gorgeous photos are some cleverly crafted little snippets that bring the pictures to life.

Salad of Spiced Chickpeas and Puffed Rice

I seem to be obsessed with photos lately, although I don’t think it’s helping much with my own photography skills. Or, you know, lack of patience… I don’t want to eat cold food…

This week is Meat Free Week, an event that encourages people think about not only how meat they eat, but where that meat comes from. And it just so happened that as I was admiring Mr Slater’s latest Instagram photos, his new column came out featuring the humble chickpea, a vegetarian staple, and with it, an amazing sounding salad.

Salad of Chickpea and Puffed Rice

So to kick off Meat Free Week 2015, I give you Mr Slater’s salad of spiced chickpeas and puffed rice. It’s meaty enough for all those omnivores participating in Meat Free Week, and it’s different enough with its contrasting textures and temperatures to inspire all vegetarians, pescatarians and vegans.

Salad of Spiced Chickpeas and Puffed Rice

  • Servings: Serves 4 as a side salad
  • Print

Salad of Spiced Chickpeas and Puffed Rice


  • 1 small pomegranate
  • 400g cucumber
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons groundnut oil
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 50g almonds (whole and skinned)
  • 1 x 400g can chickpeas
  • 30g hemp seeds
  • 30g sunflower seeds
  • 30g unsweetened puffed rice
  • olive oil


  1. Crack open the pomegranate and remove the seeds, putting them into a mixing bowl and discarding any white pith as you go. Peel the cucumber, lightly, leaving as much colour as you can, then cut in half lengthways. Scrape out the seeds and pith with a teaspoon and discard, then cut the flesh into small dice. Toss the cucumber and pomegranate together.
  2. Put the coriander and cumin seeds in a shallow pan and warm them over a gentle heat. Let them cook, moving them around the pan, until crisp and fragrant. Remove the pan from the heat and tip the toasted seeds into a mortar. Crush them to a fine powder.
  3. Warm the oil in the shallow pan, then, keeping the heat low, add the ground cumin and coriander, the garam masala and the curry powder, then the skinned almonds. Warm the nuts and spices, moving everything round the pan so it doesn’t burn.
  4. Drain the chickpeas and stir them into the spices and almonds, together with the hemp seeds, sunflowers seeds and puffed rice.
  5. Tip the warm chickpea mixture into the pomegranate and cucumber, add a trickle of olive oil, then toss gently together and serve.

Recipe by Nigel Slater as found on The Guardian.


About Food Daydreaming

I follow new recipes perfectly the first couple of times and then I pull them apart and put them back together my way. My biggest pet peeve is when I follow a recipe to a tee and then it doesn't turn out the way it should... I end up growling in my kitchen and that's just not right ;)

5 responses to “Salad of Spiced Chickpeas and Puffed Rice for Meat Free Week

  1. Love this salad! Wonderful spices, seeds and textures. I’ve never heard of groundnut oil. I’ll have to google it. It’s so nice to see such an unique combination for a salad. I’m going to make this for sure. Great post.

  2. A lovely recipe for meat free week (I say as I am slow cooking a Mexican chuck beef one-pot)……

  3. I love puffed rice. Perhaps one of my favourite textures but I have no idea where I could buy it! Any suggestions?!

  4. Gorgeous salad. I totally hear you – I’ve given up on trying to improve my food photography skills – by the time I’ve cooked and double checked the recipe I’m way too impatient to eat and console myself it’s all about the flavour and deliciousness of a dish.

  5. Pingback: Salad of Spiced Chickpeas and Puffed Rice from Food Daydreaming - Yum Goggle

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s



Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow Food Daydreaming on
%d bloggers like this: