Spiced Chickpeas with Harissa and Tamarind

Spiced Chickpeas

Spiced Chickpeas

My friend A often sends me recipes she thinks I should try, usually accompanied by annotations and suggestions.
Last week she emailed me this fascinating recipe for strawberry crisp that uses rosewater and dried lemons, she said it’s ‘very Ottolenghi’ (read Middle Eastern inspired) and that I should perhaps add a teaspoon of pomegranate molasses to kick it up a notch.

I tried the crisp on Monday, sans dried lemons because I didn’t have any, the pomegranate molasses gave it just the right punch. I can’t wait to perfect the recipe and share it on here.

A is also a giver of unique food items, last year when her father (he of the Cologne story) returned from a trip back home and handed her several bottles of curry and brutzel ketchup, she turned them over to me, and I must say those crazy German ketchups are now my new favourite thing!

Spiced Chickpeas

A few months ago she gave me a small jar of tamarind paste with a note that said ‘Explore!’
I took that as a challenge, of course, I hadn’t had tamarind in decades, so the jar sat in my fridge for a while.

Then I discovered Essiespice, an exceptional collection of spice blends with cheerful names like Coco-For-Garlic and TamarindOh.
These spices have been wonderful in everything I’ve tried. They transform ordinary everyday meals into sensational dishes. I’m so enamoured with them, I’m hoping I can share them with one lucky winner in a giveaway soon.

I was still experimenting with the Tamarind sauce when A’s recipe for a tamarind chickpea curry hit my inbox, ‘maybe replace the curry with harissa to make it, you know… ‘more Ottolenghi’ her note said.

I knew one of her recipes was going to become a mainstay in my kitchen soon – and this spiced chickpeas with harissa and tamarind could very well be it.

Spiced Chickpeas

Spiced Chickpeas Spiced Chickpeas

Spiced Chickpeas

These chickpeas are a heady melody of savoury and subtle tartness. It reminds me of the rich stews my mom used to make; satisfying and full of flavourful and aromatic spices; spooned over plain rice, it was the ultimate comfort food.

The tangy, sweetly sour tamarind, nutty chickpeas and spicy harissa meld well together and it’s even better after a day or two. Naturally, I make a big batch, preferably for Sunday supper and have plenty of leftovers for the rest of the week. It’s wonderful for quick weeknight meals, I love it over quinoa and peas, or rice or with some pita bread.

Spiced Chickpeas

[Tweet “Tangy and fragrantly spiced flavorful #chickpeas, can be served over plain rice or quinoa. #vegan #glutenfree”]

Spiced Chickpeas with Harissa and Tamarind
Tangy and fragrantly spiced chickpeas that can be served over plain rice or quinoa… so flavourful!
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil (or coconut oil)
  2. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  3. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  4. 1 small red onion, chopped
  5. 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  6. 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  7. 4 teaspoons harissa paste
  8. 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika (or to taste)
  9. 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper, optional
  10. 2 - 3 teaspoons tamarind paste (or 1 tablespoon Tamarind Oh)
  11. 2 – 2 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 15-oz canned chickpeas, drained)
  12. 1/4 cup water
  13. Salt to taste
  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat
  2. Add mustard seeds when oil is hot, stir and cook for about a minute until seeds start popping
  3. Add cumin, onions and tomato paste and cook for a minute or two until onions start to soften
  4. Add garlic, harissa paste and cook for another minute or so
  5. Stir in tamarind, and paprika, Aleppo pepper and chickpeas and water, mix well to coat
  6. Lower heat and cook for 3 – 5 minutes or until chickpeas are warmed through
  7. Season with salt to taste
  8. Enjoy!
  1. Add 1/2 cup water or more if you prefer more saucy stew-like chickpeas
the Whinery by Elsa Brobbey
Spiced Chickpeas

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  • Reply grandbabycakes

    I absolutely adore chick peas. These look sensational!

    19 June, 2015 at 8:34 am
  • Reply Shalama Jackson

    I am a fan of chick peas, so I might have to try these. (*found via BlogHer)

    19 June, 2015 at 9:26 am
    • Reply Elsa | the whinery

      Thanks for stopping by Shalama! Always glad to meet another chickpea fan:-). Very nice to meet you, I just followed you on instagram!

      19 June, 2015 at 5:04 pm
  • Reply Anne Marie

    Oh Elsa, once again you’ve made my mouth water and my tastebuds go wild! I absolutely love chickpeas, but have never cooked them this way. I can’t wait to try this recipe! And I also can’t wait to explore Essiespice…I feel a big, spicy spending spree coming on. 🙂

    21 June, 2015 at 9:25 am
    • Reply Elsa | the whinery

      Awww thank you Anne Marie, you’ll definitely fall for these chickpeas and the spices! 🙂 it’s so easy to make and oh so flavourful.

      22 June, 2015 at 7:41 am
  • Reply Neema

    I love tamarind and I cannot wait to try this recipe. My mouth is already watering. I also adore your styling!

    21 June, 2015 at 10:57 am
    • Reply Elsa | the whinery

      Thank you Neema! We tamarind lovers need to stick together, you don’t meet that many of us:-). I’ll be interested to know some of the things you cook with tamarind.

      22 June, 2015 at 7:43 am
  • Reply Bintu @ Recipes From A Pantry

    E I love the flavour combo in this (and tamarind is huge in Salone) so pinning to try later.

    25 June, 2015 at 8:01 am
    • Reply Elsa | the whinery

      Oh yes! I’m pretty sure you’d like this one:-) let me know what you think when you try it.

      25 June, 2015 at 9:57 am
  • Reply Kelsey M

    Yum! What a delicious combination! I love tamarind but never really get around to using it at home- this will be a good “challenge” myself! 😉

    7 July, 2015 at 8:56 pm
  • Reply KK

    This looks scrumptious!

    15 July, 2015 at 6:36 pm
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