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Salad of spiced chickpeas and celeriac

You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead.

You'll need

  Salad 350 gm (1¾ cups) chickpeas, soaked overnight in cold water and drained ¼ tsp asafoetida (optional) 4 small celeriac, peeled 1 tbsp sambal (see note) 1 tbsp hulled tahini 120 ml `Ubiquitous dressing’ (see below)   Salsa 1 small Spanish onion 3 Roma tomatoes, peeled and seeds removed 1 long red chilli, seeds removed ½ bunch coriander leaves, finely shredded   Hummus 250 gm chickpeas, soaked overnight in cold water and drained 125 gm hulled tahini 10 gm (2-3 cloves) garlic To taste: 25 ml lemon juice To taste: fish sauce To taste: tamarind water   Ubiquitous dressing 12 white peppercorns, roasted 2 coriander roots 6 cloves garlic 2 long red chillies, seeds removed 50 gm light palm sugar To taste: juice of 3 limes and 1 tbsp fish sauce


  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 200C. Place chickpeas in an ovenproof pot, cover with 2cm of cold water and add 1 tsp salt and asafoetida. Bring to the boil, skim froth, cover and cook in oven for 2½ hours or until tender, topping up with extra water if necessary. Drain, reserving cooking liquid.
  • 02
  • Rub celeriac with sambal and tahini. Place in a small pan and add 100ml reserved chickpea liquid. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and roast for 2-2½ hours or until tender, adding extra liquid if necessary (level should be 5mm from the bottom). Drain pan juices into a small saucepan and set aside. Cool celeriac to room temperature.
  • 03
  • For salsa, finely dice onion, tomato and chilli and combine with coriander.
  • 04
  • For hummus, cook chickpeas as directed in step 1. Cool to room temperature and process in a food processor with garlic until smooth. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add tahini, process, then add lemon juice and process to combine, thinning with a little reserved liquid if necessary.
  • 05
  • Heat reserved celeriac liquid over low heat, add a heaped tablespoon of hummus and whisk together to a sauce consistency. Season to taste with lemon juice, tamarind water and/or fish sauce, if necessary. Keep warm. Makes 2 cups.
  • 06
  • Halve celeriac lengthways and lay each half flat. Cutting lengthways, remove 3cm from each side and finely dice. Place diced celeriac in a large bowl with chickpeas and two-thirds of the salsa, drizzle with a little ‘ubiquitous dressing’ and toss. Thinly slice remaining celeriac lengthways. Place a tbsp of hummus on each plate, top with salad and arrange celeriac slices, overlapping slightly, around salad. Drizzle with remaining ‘ubiquitous dressing’ and scatter with remaining salsa.
  • 07
  • For the ubiquitous dressing, combine all ingredients except lime juice and fish sauce in a mortar and, using a pestle, pound to a paste, season with lime juice and fish sauce and stir well. The flavour should be sweet, sour, hot and salty. Makes about 120ml.

Note Phillip Searle makes his own sambal using peanuts, sesame seeds, tamarind, onion and garlic. Also available from Asian or Indian grocery stores.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Drink Suggestion

Rhône white.

Featured in

Sep 2007

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