But when my roommate Daniela showcased this flavorful and quick recipe for some friends, I discovered a love for chickpeas and I haven’t stopped craving them since.
At dinner that night, I hesitated that my boyfriend Jeremy wouldn’t like the chickpea tagine because his tastebuds weren’t in line with the exotic flavors: cinnamon, cumin, turmeric and cayenne pepper.
And because it wasn’t hummus (what he was used to).
But after the first bite, Jeremy, me, Claire and Daniela couldn’t get enough chickpeas. Seconds. Thirds. Draining the bowl. I think we were all were surprised at its goodness.
The word "tagine" refers to a North African casserole dish with a platelike bottom and a conical shaped lid. The dish has many flavors that are commonly found in Morocco and are cooked in one skillet or pot.
The first time I made it, it took me 30 minutes and I’m a slow cook. Also, I learned that the recipe is versatile.
I omitted the onions (simply because I didn’t have any at my house) and added a can of mild green chilies instead. The bold, mild taste I had enjoyed when Daniela cooked it became intense: red pepper spicy.
So, if you like spicy flavors that might be something to try. When it’s ready to serve, it looks nice if you garnish it with some chopped parsley and add a dollop of Greek-style yogurt or sour cream in the center.
Now, chickpeas have become a staple in my cabinet and I have cooked this recipe and shared it with my family and friends.
But don’t try this recipe because it’s good for you; try it because there are other ways to enjoy something as simple and earthy as a chickpea.
Chickpea Tagine with Cinnamon, Cumin and Carrots
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
2 14.5-oz. cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
¼ cup dried currants
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. honey
½ cup plain Greek-style yogurt
3 Tbs. finely chopped parsley
1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and sauté 2 to 3 minutes, or until onion slices are soft. Stir in chickpeas, carrots, currants, spices, honey, and 2 cups water. Cover and simmer 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Divide tagine among 4 bowls. Garnish each serving with dollop of yogurt, and sprinkle with parsley.