This chickpea salad with bitter melon flowers brings together a combo of sharp tastes that resonates so well together. The crowning touch is to add some bitter melon flowers, although you don’t need to. I have bitter melon growing in my garden.
Male flowers bloom for just one day, opening in the morning and falling from the vines by dusk. So I find many male flowers on the ground. Instead of letting them go to waste, I use them in salads and it is perfect for this one because it is a salad that combines many different strong tasting elements. The flowers are mildly bitter, not as much as the melon itself and has a lovely fragrance. The Tahini dressing makes for a healthy ferment with a Mediterranean feel.
Chickpea salad with bitter melon flowers
- 2 cups Sweet Potato, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup Chickpeas, pre-soaked and boiled (or) canned
- 1/2 cup Onion, diced
- 1/2 cup Bitter melon flowers (optional)
- 1/4 cup – Basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup Mint leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 Roasted capsicum, roughly chopped
- 1Tbsp Olive oil
- 1/4 tsp – Aniseed powder
- 1/4 tsp – Coriander powder
- 1/4 tsp – Smoked Paprika (or) regular paprika/chilli powder to taste
- Salt to taste
- 3 Tbsp – Tahini
- 2-3 Tbsp – Lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp – Olive oil
- 1 Garlic clove, crushed
- Salt to taste
- Toss the sweet potatoes with salt and olive oil. Bake them at 200 degrees C for about 25-30 mins. They will shrink a little in size and become tender.
- To make the dressing whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, crushed garlic and cumin powder. If the dressing is too thick, add a few spoons of warm water.
- Once the sweet potatoes have been cooled, toss them into the dressing along with the boiled chickpeas. Add diced onions, sun dried tomatoes, basil and mint. Mix well to blend all the flavors together.
- The salad can be served with pumpkin bread as I have done with either plain bread or spreading fig compote on the bread.