Tomato & chick pea salad with a lime tarka

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My friend is gluten-free  & doesn’t eat dairy, so many of my recipes are ideal, as I don’t cook with dairy. Chick peas are full of goodness and nutrients, and provide a 20% higher content of the recommended daily value of protein, dietary fibre, folates and minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc. They also contain a healthy number of vitamins such as vitamins B, C, E and K. For a non-dairy diet, they are a superfood.

Then there’s the wonderful farmers’ market tomatoes, and the zingy lime tarka – all combine together to make a super delicious salad. I served it with aubergine fesenjan and some organic leaves from the market.

Serves 4 as a side

rapeseed and coconut oil
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained
500 g baby plum tomatoes, sliced
6 spring onions, sliced
1 tsp cumin seeds, ground in pestle and mortar
1 green chilli, sliced, keep seeds
good grind of pepper
good grind of sea salt
large handful unsalted cashews
juice of 1 lime
large handful of coriander, chopped

Put a good slug of the rapeseed oil into a wok or pan and, when hot, add the chickpeas. Stir fry until brown and crispy, then add the tomatoes and spring onions to warm through. Transfer to serving bowl.

To make the tarka, add the coconut oil and, when hot, add the cumin seeds, chilli, cashews, salt and pepper. Stir fry until the cashews are golden brown. Finally add the lime juice, – it will make a good sizzle – and take off the heat.

To serve, pour the tarka over the chicken/tomato mix. Add the coriander and mix altogether.

You can do all this in advance as I did, no need to have a warm salad. A little infusion is sometimes more tasty!

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