• Yield: Serves 8

Copyright 1996 From "Savoring Spices and Herbs" By Julie Sahni, Published by William Morrow and Company, Inc., New York

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Yield: Serves 8

Chick peas are an ancient food of the Mediterranean region. In this salad, the peas are first cooked in cumin water to imbue them with a light spicy flavor and, at the same time, render them more digestible. The chick peas are then dressed in a chili-spiked lime and scallion dressing. You can increase or decrease the amount of chilies according to your taste. For a really spicy version, add a tablespoon of Harissa (page 78).


  • 2 cups dried chick peas

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh chilies

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or more if needed

  • 1 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts

  • 1/4 cup minced parsley

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

  • Kosher salt

  • 8 red leaf lettuce leaves or other similar lettuce leaves


  • 1. Place the chick peas in a bowl and add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Soak the peas for 8 hours or overnight.

  • 2. Drain and rinse the peas and put in a deep pot. Add 5 cups water and the cumin seeds and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, until the peas are soft, adding more water if the peas begin to dry out, about 2 hours.

  • 3. Drain the peas and place in a bowl. Discard the liquid. Add the chilies, garlic, lime juice, scallions, parsley, oil, and salt to taste, and toss well. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature. Check the seasoning and add more salt or lime juice if needed. (The salad keeps for up to 8 hours at room temperature. Do not refrigerate; chilling the chick peas toughens them.)

  • 4. Arrange the lettuce leaves on a platter, mound the chick peas in the center, and serve.