This is one of my favorite dishes to make. It is humble in its simplicity while simultaneously luxurious given the melange of spices. Mostly savory with a whisper of sweetness. The ginger, cumin and turmeric provide warmth and earthiness. The garlic and chilies add a nice heat. The walnuts provide just the right amount of textural contrast. The subtle sweetness of the cinnamon rounds all elements of earth, fire and nuttiness together… and for the finale- the coolness of the mint and yogurt balance our the entire dish. It’s a carnival for the taste buds!
Once upon a time, these spices were only available to royalty and the elite. They were a luxury for which wars were fought over and kingdoms were built or destroyed. Spices were used as currency in trade. These exotic flavors made their way from far away lands via the spice trade to the homes of nobility and were not nearly as accessible as they are to us today. These days all it takes is quick trip to the local supermarket to acquire the same riches.
That is why I entourage you to use spices. Many of us are afraid of using the ones we’re not familiar with. This recipe is a great way to dip your toe in the water! A can of chickpeas from your pantry and a combination of these spices makes a satisfying yet super healthy dish. The cool mint yogurt will balance the heat of the spices and your kitchen will smell divine!
1 can chickpeas washed + drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium white or yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
15 walnut halves
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (use more if you want a slightly more sweet flavor)
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (adjust to preference of heat)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (adjust to preference of heat)
1 cup yogurt
A handful of fresh mint, chopped
Saute onion until transparent on medium heat
Add chopped garlic and saute with onion for approximately 1 minute
In the center of the pan add 1 teaspoon of oil and to oil add cumin, turmeric, red chili flakes, chili power, cinnamon
Mix and cook over high heat for another 5-6 minutes
Add chopped walnuts
Add chopped ginger
Salt + pepper and fresh mint to taste
For Yogurt Sauce-
Combine yogurt, salt, pepper, garlic power and mint.