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This is a souped-up, spiced-up, vegetabled…er, well, dish with more vegetables than traditionally called for. According to Habeeb Salloum in his wonderfully overwhelming collection of Middle Eastern recipes, Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East & Africa, this dish would traditionally consist of chickpeas, chickpeas, and, if you are feeling adventurous, chickpeas*.
I’ve tarted it up quite a bit.
Spiced Chickpeas with Vegetables (“An-Nikhi”)
Loosely adapted, and with many liberties taken, from Habeeb Salloum’s straightforward recipe “Chickpeas with Spices” in Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East & Africa.
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, grated
1 2” knob ginger, peeled and grated
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
½ cup almonds, toasted
2 cups packed baby spinach
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas (1 14 oz can), drained and rinsed
1 ½ cups diced or crushed tomatoes (1 14 oz can)
1 cup vegetable broth (HOMEMADE) or tomato juice
1 ½ tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
¾ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbs dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1 ½ Tbs lemon juice (optional, but really recommended)
Mound o' chickpeas.
1. In a large cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, and sauté the onions until they begin to brown at the edges.
2. Stir in the grated ginger and garlic, and sauté for 1 minute.
3. Stir in the diced carrots and celery, and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
4. Stir in the spices (paprika through oregano, above) and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
5. Stir in the tomatoes and almonds, and let cook for several minutes.
6. Add the chickpeas and the vegetable broth; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to low and simmer, covered, for approximately 15 minutes (or until chickpeas are soft).
7. When the chickpeas and carrots are cooked, remove the lid and stir in the salt and spinach until the leaves are wilted. Taste and add lemon juice in ½ Tbs increments, or until it reaches the level you like.
I’ve served this over couscous or brown rice, and have just eaten it straight by itself. Sweet.
* And chickpeas.