Strangely enough, when I became vegetarian, pretty much the only non-vegetarian foods I found myself craving were the old-school creamy sandwich fillings – especially tuna salad. A couple of years ago, I came across a vegan “tuna” salad recipe by Hot For Food, in which the tuna was replaced with mashed chickpeas, and it quickly became a household staple. It was actually better than the tuna salads I remember, with creamy mayo, minced shallots, crunchy celery, and finely diced pickles. We often eat it as is in a sandwich, but have also made melts out of it, which is so good, too!
I’ve since started experimenting with different versions, and they always seem to get a lot of interest when I post photos of them on social media. This curried one is a recent favourite, and is perfect served inside a pita or flatbread as a sandwich, or you could also serve it in lettuce cups, or on top of a salad. My favourite way to eat it is served open face, on a piece of toasted sourdough, with greens, fresh herbs (such as cilantro and mint) and sometimes even avocado slices. So good! Best of all, you can eat this kind of sandwich pretty much anywhere, as it doesn’t have that fishy smell that’s often frowned upon in the workplace. Hope you give it a try!
- 1½ cups rinsed and drained cooked chickpeas (from a 398ml can)
- ⅓ cup mayo (vegan if preferred)
- ⅓ cup minced scallions (white and green parts)
- ½ cup minced celery
- ½ to 1 tsp fine sea salt (depending on your taste - I use 1)
- 1½ tsp mild curry powder
- 1 to 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (start with 1, and add more if you prefer it more lemony - I use 2)
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- Optional, for serving: bread, lettuce leaves, sliced avocado, fresh herbs (mint, cilantro), baby spinach, or whichever toppings you like best
- In a medium bowl, mash chickpeas (with a potato masher or fork) until mixture resembles flaky tuna - a few bigger pieces are okay.
- Add all other ingredients and stir to combine. Taste, and adjust seasoning, if required.
- Pile into a sandwich, eat in lettuce cups, or spoon on top of a salad - whichever you prefer!