This recipe is something of a variation on a variation, so I'm not sure whether people would actually eat this in Syria. But it was a great way to make chickpeas different from how I usually do.
And that difference is all due to pomegranate molasses. As in the pomegranate molasses baked beans I made a while back, here, the molasses adds a tangy sweet flavor to a savory bean dish. I feel like it also might help tenderize the legumes, it's that sour.
As I've mused recently, it seems like pomegranate molasses works in many of the same ways as tamarind does in some Asian cuisines. Interestingly, I just learned that there's a Syrian spice mix called baharat that also bears quite a bit of resemblance to masala. Connections, connections...
Oh. Another thing about this recipe? It's really easy and fast. More interesting than making spaghetti when you're feeling lazy.
I made this recipe because I had too many cooked chickpeas. The recipe I was following called for split peas, but since in my case the legumes were already cooked, I needed to find a way to get the flavors to mature without simmering for 30+ minutes. So, I added the bay leaf with the onion-garlic saute, as well as some cumin seed and cayenne. Then, I only briefly cooked the chard before adding everything else, simmering about 5 minutes, and serving. I didn't have enough cilantro, so I subbed in some parsley. Finally, 1/4 c pomolasses seemed like an awful lot, so I skimped here, and it was just right--plenty sweet and tangy.
Syrian-Style Chickpeas with Chard
(adapted from lazy smurf)
1 TB olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cumin seed
1 large bunch chard, shredded
4-5 c cooked chick peas
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 c cilantro, chopped
1/4 c parsley, chopped
2-3 TB pomegranate molasses
water as needed
InstructionsHeat oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic, bay leaf, cumin, and cayenne. Cook 7-10 minutes, until onions are translucent and fragrant. Add chard and cook, stirring, until chard is slightly softened (add water if necessary here). Then add chickpeas, salt, and black pepper. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer a few minutes. Turn off heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Serve hot. Serves 4-6.