- Moroccan Spiced Turkey and Chickpea Chili with Chermoula
- The spices in this chili are wonderfully sweet and exotic with a little kick of heat from the Aleppo peppers. The eggplant melts down and the chickpeas give the chili a lot of body. The garnish on the chili is wonderful and I wouldn’t omit, but if you don’t have the time, the chili will still be delicious. Labneh cheese is a Middle Eastern cheese made from strained yogurt. You can substitute Greek yogurt, or mascarpone cheese. Ras el Hanout is a Middle Eastern spice mix and there are hundreds of variations. You can usually find the blend at a gourmet store, and it’s worth searching out because it often has rose petals and lavender which give a really wonderful subtle flavor. I like to serve the chili with toasted Middle Eastern flat bread or you could use naan bread. Chermoula is a fresh and pungent sauce that is often served with fish. This simple version does not have all the spices it can often have but really brightens the finished dish and adds beautiful color and texture.
- Serves 3
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large red onion, diced
- 1 eggplant, diced
- 1 pound ground turkey or beef
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 cloves garlic, grated
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon ras el hanout
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- dash of crushed Aleppo pepper or cayenne (optional)
- 2 teaspoons flour
- 3-4 cups water
- 15 ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed, drained or 1 ½ cups chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- Chermoula Garnish
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons Labneh cheese, Greek yogurt, or mascarpone cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
In a large skillet add olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes. Add eggplant and cook until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes. Add turkey and break it apart and sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add ras el hanout, cumin, cardamom, coriander, Aleppo pepper, and flour and mix well and cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add water and stir well. Add chick peas and Balsamic vinegar and bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat to medium low and cook for 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together cilantro, lemon zest, juice, salt and pepper and set aside.
In a small bowl add Labneh cheese, lemon juice, salt and pepper and mix well. Set aside.
Serve in bowls and garnish with a dollop of the labneh cheese in the center and scatter some of the Chermoula sauce over the dish and serve with toasted flat bread or naan bread.