I really didn’t know what to think of this dish when I first saw it. I love chickpeas and I like dates so-so (they’re a little too sweet for me, if I’m being honest), but more than that, I wasn’t sure if this was a side dish, what to dip in it or generally how to go about putting any of this in my mouth.
BUT, this was gone in minutes. Literally, five of them. The sweetness of the dates is really subtle and the combination of spices gives the chickpeas an interesting flavor. And I think I understand it now. Put a spoon in a large bowl filled with this, and people will figure out a way to shovel it into their mouths. This is a great side dish because it’s subtle and can accompany meats or vegetarian style meals without interrupting the flow; I would also totally make this for lunch or even toss it into a pita or a tortilla and wrap it up, on-the-go style, and take it for breaky in the AM. Or if you’re Atkins-ing to look totally amazing in your bathing suit soon, wrap it in a cabbage leaf and you’re that much closer to not feeling super awkward in a one-piece. We’ve all been there.
This recipe can be doubled or tripled, etc. Taste as you go and adjust flavors to your liking.
Adapted from here
Serves: let’s say 2 (hungry people)-6 (people who might be hungry but have lots of food options on the table)
What you need:
1 1/2 cups chickpeas (soak them overnight or use one large can)
1/2 small onion; finely chopped
1-2 tblsp oil of your choosing
4-5 dates; chopped
1/2 tsp ground cardamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 pinch ground ginger
1 star anise
How to do it:
Drain the chickpeas (obviously), and mix all those spices together. Heat the oil in a pan, and when it begins to simmer add the onions and saute until they begin to brown. Add the spice mixture (and if it begins to get clumpy and you’re getting nervous it is a-o-k to add some more o-i-l) and toast like this for a few minutes. Add the dates, chickpeas and 1/4 c water or enough to make them less than dry. Stir the mixture to incorporate all the ingredients but stop once the chickpeas begin to look a little smushy and kinda sad. No one wants sad food. Serve warm! Enjoy!