There are so many members of the superfood squad now that it can be difficult to pick a favourite – but we think we've found a winner in chickpeas. With restaurants all around Ireland serving everything from hummus and falafel to chickpea curry, the super legume has even made it into the recently trending bowls. It's hard to deny the power of the chickpea, especially since everyone can try it whether they're a vegetarian or a meat-lover. So, let's take a look at the best dishes featuring this fabulous ingredient.
Of all the Mediterranean dishes now appearing on menus throughout Ireland, hummus is perhaps the most popular and well-known. Made using chickpeas that are blended together with oils and herbs to create a sumptuous dip or spread, hummus is a dish that everyone can enjoy. This is probably why Keshk, which offers a mixture of North African, Greek and Turkish dishes, has a number of dishes that are served with their delicious, wholesome hummus. Whether you're there for lunch or dinner, you can order hummus as a vegetarian side or you can get a plate of hummus served with a soft, fluffy pitta bread as a starter.
2. Maia Spiced Chickpea Salad
For anyone who loves food, salads often simply don't make the cut. After all, how could we possibly be full after eating some lettuce? Well, that all changed when Maia opened in Dublin and began serving wholesome, generous salad portions to the masses. Just one of Maia's many massive salads is the Maia Spiced Chickpea, which is truly a superfood salad if we ever saw one. Alongside the protein-packed chickpeas you'll find feta, baby spinach, red peppers and poppy seeds, all coming together to create a gluten-free, vegetarian-friendly dish.
3. Palestinian Falafel
Although falafel is occasionally made using alternative recipes chickpeas are usually the main ingredient, especially when inspired by Palestinian, Lebanese or Israeli cuisine. As Umi Falafel is a Lebanese restaurant that specialises in vegetarian and mezze dishes it's no surprise their falafel is so popular. At Umi (the Arabic word for "mother") all the falafel is handmade, including the Palestinian Falafel - a vegetarian delight with hummus, tomato, cucumber pickles, fried aubergine and parsley all served in a pitta pocket. Topped with chilli and tahini sauce this falafel is a superfood enthusiast's absolute dream dish.
4. Bombay Bowl
How could we possibly tell you about superfoods without mentioning at least one bowl? They're all the rage right now and it doesn't get much trendier than ordering an acai, kale or chickpea bowl. At Cocu they've got this area of the market covered and one of their most popular dishes is the Bombay Bowl, inspired by the Indian city of Mumbai. In this dish you'll get chickpeas covered in hearty helpings of tahini yoghurt, za'atar roasted cauliflower, cucumber and pomegranate. This bowl is low in saturated fats and high in iron so it will definitely give you the nutritional boost you need.
5. Chana Masala
Known to many simply as chickpea curry, Chana Masala is a favourite at many Indian restaurants around Ireland and the world, especially for vegetarians. Sure Aloo Gobi is delicious, but occasionally vegetarians want something with a little more to offer. Clearly, Curry & Spice in Galway know this as not only do they offer a hearty Chana Masala, but it also comes in gluten-free and vegan forms, so everyone with all dietary needs can get their superfood hit.
For even more charming chickpea dishes, see what Deliveroo can do for you.