Moroccan Chickpeas

This is the tagine that goes with the Couscous recipe. It makes a nice light lunch, and is safe to make for your vegetarian friends. I served it with fried baingonis, or disks of aubergine dipped in chickpea batter....and ..while you can make it in your tagine, you can also just use your pressure cooker + pan.

Note: If cooking for strict vegetarians, like Jains or Hare Krishnas, omit the onions and garlic. It still tastes good!

You need:
A Tagine or a pan
A pressure cooker if you are cooking the chick peas from scratch.

2 cups of dried chickpeas or you can use 2 450g cans of chickpeas
1 onion, chopped fine, or as fine as you can get, don't stress
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, chopped fine and pressed with the edge of your knife, or bashed by hand
1 teaspoon kashmiri mirch, or 1/2 teaspoon red chillie powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon fresh ground ginger - chop about 1/2 inch of ginger and bash it with the edge of your knife, or grate it.
1 teaspoon ground jeera or cummin
1 teaspoon ground coriander powder
1 tin (about 400g) chopped tomato
1 teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoons choppped parsley

  1. Soak chickpeas in water overnight, and pressure cook for 10 minutes in the morning. Release the pressure, and then open the cooker, remove the container with the chikpeas. Place under cold tap and run water over it. This will cool it down quickly. Gently stir with your hand to encourage the skins to come to the top. Remove the skins gently and place to the side. You can do this at the same time as Step 2 below, as it can take some time. Keep filling the pan with cold water and floating the skins off.
  2. Heat the oil in the pan, and fry the onions till soft, but not brown, about  5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and the rest of the spices and fry at a low heat for 2 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and sugar. Cover and allow to cook for 10 minutes. You can have fun covering it with the tagine cover, or with any cover  you have at hand. I have a glass cover that allows me to peer anxiously at it to ensure it doesnt burn, or lose its red colour. While waiting, keep skinning the chickpeas as described above - this ensures that you do not suffer from any unwanted bloating afterwards ;).
  3. Drain the chickpeas after they are skinned, and add to the tomato mixture. Cover and turn down the heat to the lowest possible.
  4. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add some water if needed, to prevent it drying out.
  5. Sprinkle the parsley over with a squeeze of lime. Cover with the tagine top, and take to the table to serve trimphantly..with couscous and perhaps fried aubergine bhajjis or fritters.