Chef's Recipes

Barbecued calamari with chickpeas and preserved lemon (Calamares asado)

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for Barbecued calamari with chickpeas and preserved lemon (Calamares asado.)

  • 45 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 10 mins cooking plus soaking
  • Serves 4
  • Print
Barbecued calamari with chickpeas and preserved lemon (Calamares asado)
"The barbecued seafood at Porteño rocks, especially the calamari. Would you ask the chefs for their recipe?"
Harvey Read, Erskineville, NSW
Request a recipe
To request a recipe, write to Fare Exchange, Australian Gourmet Traveller, GPO Box 4088, Sydney, NSW 2001, or email us. All requests should include the restaurant's name and address or business card, as well as your name and address.


  • 285 gm dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in cold water, drained (1½ cups)
  • 6 cleaned calamari (about 12cm long)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups (loosely packed) watercress
  • 2 long green chillies, seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • ½ preserved lemon, rinsed, flesh discarded, rind finely chopped
  • 50 ml each extra-virgin olive oil and Sherry vinegar
  • 80 gm plain yoghurt (½ cup)
  • 6 long red chillies, seeds removed, coarsely chopped
  • 2 banana chillies, seeds removed, coarsely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 40 gm canned black beans, drained (2 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 80 ml Sherry vinegar (1/3 cup)
  • 60 gm light palm sugar, crushed


  • 1
    Cook chickpeas in a saucepan of boiling water over medium-high heat until tender (50 minutes-1 hour), drain and set aside.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, for sofrito, process chillies, garlic and black beans in a food processor until finely chopped. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add chilli mixture, reduce heat to low and stir occasionally until dark in colour (30-35 minutes). Add cumin, stir to combine. Transfer to a food processor, add vinegar and sugar, process until smooth and season to taste.
  • 3
    Heat sofrito in a frying pan over medium heat. Add chickpeas, cook until warmed through (5-8 minutes), season to taste and keep warm.
  • 4
    Heat a barbecue or grill to high heat. Combine calamari and oil in a bowl, season to taste and char-grill, turning once, until just cooked (2-3 minutes). Set aside to rest (1 minute), then slice into 1cm strips.
  • 5
    Combine watercress, chilli and preserved lemon rind in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and vinegar and season to taste.
  • 6
    Spoon chickpea mixture over platter, scatter calamari over, drizzle with yoghurt, scatter watercress salad over and serve.


Note You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead. This recipe is from the January 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.