According to tradition, while Queen Esther lived in the court of King Ahasuerus, she followed a vegetarian diet consisting largely of beans and peas so that she would not break the laws of kashrut (dietary laws). For this reason it is customary to eat beans and peas on Purim.
The following recipe is reprinted with permission from The Jewish Holiday Kitchen (Schocken Books). For something more elaborate, try Israeli Salad with Chickpeas, Feta & Fresh Mint or Fassoulyeh b’Chuderah (a bean stew with cinnamon and tomato).
1 20 oz can chickpeas or garbanzo beans
salt to taste
fresh ground pepper to taste
Place the chick peas with the liquid from the can in a saucepan. Simmer a few minutes, until heated through.
Drain the water. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve in a dish with toothpicks, or eat the chick peas as you would sunflower seeds or peanuts.
Pronounced: kahsh-ROOT, Origin: Hebrew, the Jewish dietary laws.