Moroccan Inspired Warm-Spiced Chickpeas
Warm spices, golden nutty chickpeas, bright red sauce, this dish feels like a celebration dish, but is quick enough to enjoy anytime.
This Moroccan inspired combination of spices includes cinnamon, cumin, coriander, turmeric, hot red pepper (the Aleppo pepper) and black pepper. While each spice plays a role, the cinnamon is what takes it over the top and fills the air with Fall and holidays. Turmeric adds an earthiness that is rounded by the cinnamon which gives a sweet sensation and taste. And whenever turmeric is used a little black pepper should be added too, both for flavor and it boosts the bioavailability for all the nutrients that turmeric brings.* Cumin adds a deeper flavor and slight smokiness, especially if you toast it a little in the pan as noted in step #6 below. Citrus notes come from the coriander, the seeds of the cilantro plant. Then for a little piquante, Aleppo pepper is perfect. Aleppo pepper is similar to hot red pepper flakes, but is less piquant, doesn’t have seeds and has more moisture. It tastes somewhat like a combination of paprika and cayenne, in fact if you don’t have Aleppo pepper, paprika and cayenne will substitute nicely. The apricots are optional, but give an extra sweetness and brings forward the spices a little more.
Chickpeas taste best when they are cooked from dried. In the technique section, see how to cook dried chickpeas and also get the resulting chickpea stock which you can use in this dish. You just need to remember to soak the beans the night before or in the early morning of the day you want to make this dish. This dish can be made any time of year. When red peppers are not in season, jarred red peppers work and taste good in this dish.
This Moroccan inspired dish is particularly good with the saffron and lemon infused basmati rice dish. Saffron and lemon go so well with this warm-spiced dish.
To see how this oil-free technique flows, you can view the 1 minute video in the Chile Bean Chili dish starting after the ancho peppers. Steps 1–6 and 8–11 below are the same as in the Chili, just different ingredients (addition of ginger and different spices).
*Dr. Gregor of nutritionfacts.org wrote an article explaining how black pepper increases the bioavailability of turmeric.
Tools Used in this Recipe
- cutting board
- chef knife
- hand blender
- paper towel
- 1 cup size jar with lid
- heavy bottom braiser pan or Dutch oven (tri-clad and enameled cast iron cookware work great for this type of dish)
- wood spatula
- flexible spatula or spoon