Moroccan-Style Chickpeas

This recipe is similar to my Moroccan Slow-Cooked Lamb, but minus the meat and faster-cooking. These chickpeas make a delicious vegetarian main course or side dish. You can adjust the spiciness of this dish to your liking by increasing the amount of harissa or red pepper flakes. Serve these chickpeas warm over couscous, with a dollop of labne or yogurt seasoned with lemon juice or mint, and warm pitas dusted with za’atar.

This recipe makes about 4 servings.


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onion
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ras el hanout or garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon harissa or crushed red pepper flakes
  • one 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 cup water
  • two 15-ounce cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • one 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; swirl to coat. Add onion, and sauté until translucent, then add garlic and sauté for 7 minutes or until the onion is lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

Add next 6 ingredients (through cinnamon stick) to pan, and cook until spices turn fragrant (this will take less than a minute).

Add 1/2 cup water, chickpeas, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The liquid should reduce by about half, and thicken slightly.

When liquid has cooked simmered down and thickened into a sauce, remove from heat. Stir in lemon zest, and sprinkle with cilantro and mint. Serve warm over couscous.