Tonight's dinner was interesting - I guess you could all it a take-off on chili, but vegetarian style. Starting us off in this Moroccan Chickpea Chili is a mixture of onions, celery and carrots sautéed in a couple teaspoons of olive oil. Next comes the spices - instead of using a prepared chili powder, the recipe calls for a blend of ingredients consisting of cumin, paprika, ginger turmeric, pepper, salt and red pepper. The blend also calls for a touch of cinnamon that adds an aromatic hint of sweetness, but does not leave any cinnamon flavor. The original recipe called for water as the primary liquid, but I added some vegetable broth, along with the fire-roasted diced tomatoes, to bring some depth to the mixture. The cilantro and lemon juice are left out until right before serving to make use of their ability to heighten flavors.
A couple tablespoons of tomato paste does give the dish some body, but it was more soup-y than I tend to like when it comes to chili. With a substantial amount of chickpeas and chunky vegetables, the dish was certainly filling and I enjoyed the smoky seasoning blend - but I think this would be better if it was made ahead of time and served later so the flavors would have a chance to intensify.
Moroccan Chickpea Chili