If you can devil an egg, why not an avocado? This is one of those recipes that are quite easy to make but seem more complicated, and are thus perfect for impressing dinner guests. 😉
As a starter, one avocado half can be served per person, or for a light lunch (perhaps with a larger salad), serve two.
Traditional deviled eggs are made by mixing the cooked yolk with mayonnaise and mustard. This healthier vegan version just subs cooked chickpeas for the yolk and adds kala namak Indian salt (also known as black salt—comes in packages like these), which provides the sulfury flavor reminiscent of egg. It can of course be made with regular salt, but the effect would not be the same. A bit of turmeric makes the mixture more yellow, which also helps recreate the look of the traditional dish. Black pepper is added to boost the turmeric’s bioavailability.
The most challenging part of this recipe is probably having the luck to land upon perfectly ripe avocados. Once you’ve managed that, the rest is a breeze! If serving at a party, the filling can be made ahead of time.
Makes 4 filled avocado halves
- 2 avocados, ripe but still firm
- a few handfuls of baby greens
- 1 cup (165 g) cooked chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon vegan mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/8 teaspoon kala namak Indian salt
- pinch ground black pepper
- several pinches ground paprika
Equipment needed: food processor or blender
The first thing you will want to do, before making the chickpea mixture, is to cut open your avocado to make sure it really is ripe and also hasn’t gotten overripe and formed black spots inside. If the avocado isn’t useable, you’ll have saved yourself the trouble of making the filling, and you can try again another day. If the avocado is fine, put the two halves back together to keep them fresh while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
Now combine the chickpeas, mayonnaise, mustard, turmeric, Indian salt and black pepper in a food processor or blender. Pulse until you have a hummus-y texture. If it seems too dry, add more mayonnaise or perhaps a tiny bit of water (a little goes a long way, so start with a teaspoonful). Add more turmeric if the mixture does not seem yellow enough. Taste and adjust the other ingredients to your liking.
At this point, you can open up the avocado again and place the halves on a bed of greens (here, I have used spinach dressed with a bit of tamari sauce and olive oil and garnished with pink peppercorns). You can opt to serve the avocados in their peels, or to be a bit fancier, remove the peel as I have done here. If you choose to remove it, proceed slowly to prevent large chunks of avocado from coming away with the peel. If this nevertheless does happen, you can to a certain extent gently press and mold the avocado flesh back onto the side or bottom of the avocado without it being very noticeable.
Fill the avocado halves with the chickpea mixture. If you have a pastry piping bag with a wide nozzle, you could try forming a swirl shape. Otherwise, just fill them with a spoon, taking care not to press down too hard on the avocado as this could cause it to break. Sprinkle with the paprika and a dusting of additional Indian salt.
Variations: If you’re in the mood to be creative, you could try adding fresh chopped herbs or spices like curry powder or Ethiopian berbere to the chickpea mixture.