Plainly boiled chickpeas appear on many Purim menus but I prefer this zesty North African dish, in which cumin and garlic give the beans an enticing aroma. If you like, serve a few cucumber slices on the side for a refreshing accent. This is a very simple recipe if you have already cooked chickpeas or if you use canned ones.
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 (14-oz.) cans (see Note below)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 (28-oz.) can tomatoes, drained and diced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- Salt to taste
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon bottled hot sauce, or to taste
- Cucumber slices (optional, for accompaniment)
- If using canned chickpeas, discard liquid, rinse chickpeas and drain; but do not discard the cooking liquid from cooked dried chickpeas.
- Heat oil in a saute pan or wide saucepan, add garlic and saute 1/2 minute over medium heat. Add tomatoes, cumin, paprika and salt and simmer 10 minutes.
- Add tomato paste and 3/4 cup chickpea cooking liquid or water and bring to a boil.
- Add chickpeas and hot sauce. Simmer uncovered over medium-low heat about 10 minutes or until sauce is of desired thickness.
- Taste and adjust seasoning.
Serve hot, accompanied by cucumber slices.
Makes 4 to 6 main-course servings.
Note: To cook dried chickpeas, use 1 1/2 cups for this recipe. Sort beans and soak overnight in cold water to generously cover. Drain and put in a saucepan. Add 6 cups cold water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer about 1 1/2 hours, adding hot water occasionally to keep them covered with water. Add a pinch of salt and continue simmering 30 to 45 minutes or until tender. Reserve cooking liquid.