Eating green balls gives me nightmares.

Oh yes! You nod in agreement even though it is surely not what you think.

All prepubescent innuendo aside and given the fact that my father’s chlorophyll-a-phobia most certainly skipped a generation, I am referring to the fact that when you soak dried chickpeas for 24 hours and then throw them still raw into a food processor along with an array of middle eastern herbs and spices and then pulse pulse pulse as if your life depends on it…

…what you will end up with is not something cohesive or smooth or whole.

At the least, it will not give you any faith at all that it can be plopped into a bowl of simmering curry-spiced tomato sauce and not melt into a bowl of now sorta-green mush upon contact.

Chickpea dumplings? Psssshhh. Those are surely pipe dreams that require some sort of binding agent or sorcery. No doubt about it.


But if reading 50 Shades of Grey has taught you anything, it is that sometimes even pipe dreams can come true.

And while Christian Grey may still only be a figment of my (and every other woman in America’s) very vivid imagination (sigh). Last week, with the help of a little bit of luck and a lotta bit of steam. I turned mush into dumplings. And it was delicious. Go figure.


Rife with fresh falafel-y flavors and paired with all the heartwarming spice you’d expect from a good Indian meal, this dish is worth the risk (and maybe even a few bad dream ridden nights).

Just plop those mounds of mush into your pan of simmering tomato curry gravy, cover, and rest assured that so long as you give them enough time, dumplings will eventually emerge.  Unapologetically green though they may be.

This recipe was The Food Matters Project pick for this week. For the full recipe, check out Lena’s blog.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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82 Responses to Braised Chickpea Dumplings with Vegetables

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Ha, I’m pretty okay with green balls. Especially if chickpeas and herbs are involved.

  2. How creative! I’d love to dig right into these.

  3. This looks freaking awesome! And I’m glad you’re learning lessons from 50 shades. Our boyfriends are totally going to turn into Christians soon, right?

  4. Simply Life says:

    wow, I have never seen chickpeas used like this- so creative!!!

  5. I might be the only woman who hasn’t read 50 Shades…hmmm. Still love these dumplings though!

  6. Sam says:

    I love dumplings but have never done chickpea dumplings before. Sounds amazing!

  7. Oooh, I can not wait to try these, Joanne! Rob once made hummus with chickpeas that he had soaked.. He did not know he ALSO had to cook them! Lets just say I do not like raw hummus done this way… but if they were then braised, oh my! NEATO!!

  8. These green balls look completely acceptable!

  9. Shana says:

    Gonna have to try this. My every attempt at falafel has failed – but if this is a take on it that works, hey, gimme some green balls. 🙂

  10. Lynn says:

    As so often happens when I look at your blog photos – I want to eat that right now.

  11. Gloria says:

    I love tjis recipe Joanne I wanna try;)

  12. lol, I love balls of all kinds, especially the ones you can eat! Now get your mind out of the gutter! Have a great week!

  13. Amy says:

    Ha. Green balls are the new blue balls…

  14. Suzi says:

    I think these look fantastic and kudos to you for waiting it out until they became dumplings. Love the green. I am going over to check out the recipe.

  15. Ranjani says:

    I love that feeling when I’m not sure something is going to work and then it does. I’ll eat any kind of balls, if you’re the one making them =)

  16. kelsey says:

    I think I would enjoy eating these green balls. Very much so.

  17. I am glad your steamed dumplings turned out well. I added quite a lot cilantro, but mine did not turn out that green. I wouldnt mind, though. And I guess I wouldn’t be patient enough to wait for them to turn into dumplings.

  18. I love green mush. And dumplings of any kind!

  19. daphne says:

    haha.. well, i happen to like green! So these dumplings will suit me fine 😉

  20. Barbara says:

    My mother used to put dumplings on all manner of things…but never as healthy as yours!

  21. Wow, it’s crazy that those become dumplings! This sounds really good…and different. I’ve been needing something to spice up our dinner rotation and will def be giving it a try 🙂

  22. Yes, green balls are a little frightening! But I bet yours are tasty. I’d like to follow these up with one of your margarita cupcakes. Girl, you know how to do it.

  23. Hehe, these do look rather… green… but I am sure they taste wonderful 🙂 Unique dishes are always a win with me!

  24. Jenna says:

    More delicious-looking green orbs have never been seen!

  25. Cathleen says:

    Haha, well calling green balls dumplings does make it sound more appetizing. Although it does look more like savory ice cream, this looks VERY good 🙂

  26. Pam says:

    You make eating healthy look so delicious!

    I hope you had a fun adventure in Seattle.

  27. Eileen says:

    See, this is why I may one day buckle down and buy a food processor. Homemade chickpea dumplings in savory sauce…yes please. 🙂

  28. Margarita says:

    After reading this post, I am now seriously wishing I followed Mark Bittman’s directions… the dumplings look great, and the greenness isn’t turning me green. 😉

  29. london bakes says:

    These sound really intriguing, love the idea!

  30. OOh nice! It’s like falafel without the excess fat plus a generous helping of nice spicy gravy. My favorite Turkish place has rather shockingly green falafel, so green dumplings wouldn’t intimidate me too much. I’m ready to dig in.

  31. Such an unusual recipe! I love the green color–it turned out so pretty!

  32. That’s actually pretty cool. WHo knew you would get dumplings out of chickpea mush!

  33. Juliana says:

    So interesting this recipe Joanne…my husband will love this dumplings as he loves falafel…and green just make them prettier 🙂
    Hope you have a great week ahead!

  34. tigerfish says:

    I am pretty much ok with anything green this moment!:D

  35. Oh man, I love how huge these dumplings are! And I would totally devour these green balls 🙂

  36. I’ve been making a lot of falafel recently, so you can be certain that I would be all over these dumplings. Looks fabulous!

  37. Camila Faria says:

    I love green anything!!! Looks amazing Joanne.

  38. I really wish I would have had the time to participate this week – this looks delicious! Oh and come back to Seattle – the sun is out and we are BBQ’ing tonight! xoxo

  39. Blond Duck says:

    I never thought of chickpea dumplings!

  40. Cara says:

    By all accounts it kind of sounds like you made middle eastern/indian fusion matzoh balls. Which doesn’t surprise me one bit given your propensity towards all things curry and legumes and your secret desire to be Jewish 😉

  41. OohLookBel says:

    I love green balls, especially this healthy version of felafels.

  42. Mmm I love chickpeas and falafel-y things and dumpling-y things and comforting things .. this looks amazing (green colour and all!)

  43. Mo 'Betta says:

    These pics are amazing!

  44. Reeni says:

    Green food is good! I love all things reminiscent of falafel! These look a lot softer but every bit as delicious!

  45. Hannah says:

    Unapologetically green is the best- Nay, the only- Way to be! In fact, that sounds like an awesome name for a new food blog. Plus, as inelegant as dumplings may be by definition, I do adore them so. I’m thrilled to get your version for a rainy day (which, it just so happens, might be tomorrow.)

  46. That Girl says:

    I actually think your green balls look great.

  47. Lori says:

    Whoa, this is brilliant! Pretty much everything that isn’t a fruit or vegetable and is also green scares me. But fortunately I’ll eat it anyway! You had me at falafel-y.

  48. So interesting! This never would have occurred to me – but I’d gobble them right up!

  49. Hotly Spiced says:

    I have no fear of eating green balls. That looks so delicious and it is so pretty with the contrasting colours of green and red. I didn’t know you could pulse chickpeas that had only been soaked – I thought you had to cook them! xx

  50. Johanna GGG says:

    but these are just incredibly green – seems impossibly so but then my favourite falafel shop does wonderful green falafels so maybe you have found their secret!

  51. Shannon says:

    haha, green balls…. i don’t even know where to go with that one 😉 looks delicious though!!

  52. what a nice idea! They look so healthy and juicy.

  53. Sounds great! I was thinking of baked felaffels last night 🙂

  54. Nina says:

    Wow how do you come up with such great recipes….this sounds delicious.:)I just love what you come up with. Am gona try your falafel eggplant recipe tomorrow, will let you know when i am done baking:) Bookmarking this one as well:)

  55. Foodycat says:

    I love felafels, the herbier the better, so I can’t see any reason why I wouldn’t love this!

  56. Guru Uru says:

    Chickpea dumplings are one of my favourites – this looks like a fabulous dish my friend 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  57. Katerina says:

    Food and kitchens give you such an inpiration!This is a great idea Joanne! They look healthy and delicious!

  58. Kari says:

    These are definitely not going to give me nightmares! They look wonderful 🙂

  59. Nina says:

    I posted my comment in a hurry last night…and was going thru your post again now. I see that this is foodmattersprojects pick for the week. Nevertheless it is a great recipe,wud love to try it:)

  60. Great first sentence ;-). In all seriousness though, these look incredible! Way, way better than my fairly sorry attempt. Your photos are definitely enough inspiration to get me to give this recipe another shot.

  61. vianney says:

    tasty green balls….lol, sorry !!

  62. Christina says:

    I think Dr. Seuss would like these dumplings.

  63. Erica says:

    I like those green balls!!!Hahaha They look really good,Joanne!

  64. grace says:

    most unique dumplings ever, joanne–nicely done!

  65. Evi says:

    These look beautiful! Also, I like your reference to 50 Shades of Gray, I just started reading it!

  66. Kevin says:

    I really like the sound of using chickpeas to make dumplings!

  67. It’s certainly not the most attractive dish ever, ah —but taste comes first!

  68. Carolyn Jung says:

    I can’t resist dumplings of any kind. These look so fluffy and wonderful.

  69. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, I know I would love these chickpea dumplings. I enjoy the curry sauce and flavors. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  70. Chris says:

    You did NOT open up this post with that statement.

    Yep. Yes, you did. 😉

  71. Looks like healthy falafel! Love it!

  72. I never liked meaty dumplings but chickpea dumplings? No doubt I’d love them.

  73. These are like little falafels that aren’t fried! They look delicious!

  74. Lora says:

    I love the green AND this recipe.

  75. Oh, they’re beautiful! Maybe green balls aren’t so bad, afterall… And I think I’m really gonna have to get with the times and read 50 Shades of Grey for myself since I keep hearing about it. EVERYWHERE. 😉

  76. Karen says:

    You make the most colorful food I’ve ever seen! Must be all those great veggies you use. I’d pop these green balls into my mouth anytime :O

  77. Katie says:

    You had me after the first sentence. These look delicious, and I kind of like the green color. Maybe it makes them look more healthy?

  78. I’ve never used chickpea before, but this looks delicious and I like how you used chikpea for dumplings! I always love your macro shot!

  79. I really want to try these! They look fantastic, Joanne.

  80. Lyndsey says:

    I am lovin’ this. Yum, I want some, now please?!!!

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