A Day in the Life of a Chickpea


By Mary Nahikian

Hi, my name is Chickpea! I’m sometimes called Garbanzo depending on what language you speak.

Internationally I have earned the place of a superfood!…. not sure why. I’m a simple looking thing but you enjoy eating me every day.

I’m told I can replace all animals in the kingdom. How can I do that? I don’t even weigh an ounce.

I’m humble in my appearance, pale and round. Unique that I seem hard and dry at first, but no one seems to mind. On occasion I have been spilled and rolled oblivious into your kitchen and never found, but my abundance remains with you always. I am the key ingredient to turn into the most tastiest meals for those who believe in me. I can even attend formal dinner parties all spiced and dressed up. Some cannot live without me!

You can soak me, boil me, roast me, dip me, spread me, toss me, freeze me, store me, fry me, grind me to pieces and still make me delicious to eat. I love it when you choose me everyday of the week. Lately, you’ve Introduced me to your friends. You’ve taken me to lunch and talked about me, even shared me! They wanted to know more about me. Why are they calling me falafel? Someone even said they wanted to spread me all over?

I have different names in different countries. Mediterranean’s create recipes from me, Middle Easterns’ can’t get enough of me.  Many nationalities enjoy eating me and now I am so famous that everyone puts me on their menu and buys me. I really am a simple pea!

I have traveled throughout the world, from India, Middle East and into Europe. I am amazed how I compliment your diet, from spicy curries to soft and unctuous beans in salads. I fill your wraps, pasta dishes to dips, ground me into flour and I become the base to your pizza. Everyone wants to try me. Please remember me then!

Vegans thank me for being such a powerful pea. I have given a new satisfaction to replace the normality for meat eater dishes. I am a humble little pea.

I have relatives in my legume family, bearing pods, I am the usual white chickpea, my cousins are a darker variety and my in-laws of a green tint, but we don’t see them often.

I grow naturally to provide you with an excellent source of protein. With respect to other legumes I have a lower fat content, quite rich in calcium, iron, and am an excellent source of fiber. If you don’t add salt to me I stay sodium-poor, which is a good bet for those on reduced sodium diets.

Looking for a partner to spend my evening dinners with. Could there be a match for me?

Recipe for Falafel


1 packet Dry Chickpeas soaked over night
1 Onion
6 cloves Garlic
Large bunch Parsley
1 tablespoon Coriander
2 tablespoons Cumin
2 teaspoons Salt
2 tablespoons Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
Oil for frying


Rinse soaked chickpeas and drain. Grind in processor till sand like. Place in a large bowl. Next add chopped onion and garlic to processor, grind parsley also.

Add spices according to taste. Add flour and baking soda.

Bind with hands and use falafel tool to shape into flat balls. Can be done by hand too.

Heat oil to deep fry balls. Place about 5 at each time. Do not overcrowd.

Fry till crisp golden brown. Then lay each ball on a dish with paper towel.

You can make a crisp cabbage or tomato salad as an accompaniment. Fill pita bread or tortilla wrap with 2 falafel balls, salad and drizzle all with tahini sauce.

chickpea life

Mary Nahikian, an Armenian born in Cyprus. Inspired by Mediterranean cooking she has hosted dinner parties at her home for many years and created endless nutritionally balanced menus for her family. Discovered in 2013 when Mary’s corporate career came to an end, she found her love of vegan lifestyle creating protein balls for athletes within her sample kitchen in Palma. Mary’s menus are solely inspired by her heart and the parties that she hosts at her house. Her creations of beautiful presentations, cooking and baking, are extended to friends and residents in her community who love to eat surprise delicacies that she is inspired to share. She promotes an ever-changing assortment of ingredient for one-of-a-kind nutrition-based, diet restrictions, athletes and for people she loves!

Mary currently hosts vegan travelers visiting Mallorca: mnahikian5@gmail.com
Instagram: @dine.with.mary @veganonthemapspain

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