One thing my kids love to do in Morocco is to run to the chickpea vendor. They were not always like this. My oldest refused to eat chickpeas until the day I was invited to his school to introduce a Moroccan dish with chickpeas. Some kids in the class had never before seen or heard of chickpeas, or “Garbanzo beans,” as they were called on the side of the can I brought. The students loved them. That was the first time I saw my son eating chickpeas.
But my boys’ and my favorite are the chickpeas sold by the man with a cart. Warm chickpeas sprinkled with cumin and salt. So simple but yet from another world! Sometimes the chickpea vendor will have two pots: one with steamy chickpeas and the other with snail soup seasoned with ginger, fennel seed, aniseed, licorice root, thyme, spicy pepper, mint, and bitter orange peel. So what I like to do, is get a bowl of chickpeas and water them with the flavorful snail broth. And… Dig in!
Moroccans also eat chickpeas in couscous with 7 vegetables, in a lamb stew with fried eggplants, and in a tomato based soup called “harira.” If you’d like to try chickpeas in any of these dishes, just let me know, and I will provide you with the recipe.
Chickpeas are also “Cute and delicious in Indian dishes, hummus or tasty falafel,” says Kathryn Warren in her self-published book called Vegetabibbles. I haven’t read it yet, but I hope to soon. It looks colorful, educational, and entertaining!