Moroccan Chickpea Quinoa Salad – A healthy twist on the popular carrot raisin salad where cooked quinoa forms the base of the salad. Followed by canned chickpeas and grated carrots. The dressing has typical Moroccan flavors and spices – a combination of chili powder, honey, Lemon Juice, Dijon Mustard, and Cinnamon. Finally, the topping is what gives this salad a typical Moroccan makeover. It’s the addition of raisins, feta cheese, pistachios, and mint leaves that leaves your salad tasting amazing.
Also Read: Moroccan Beetroot Salad
WATCH ME MAKE IT
How does this Salad taste?
Well, as you can imagine, the first thing that you’d love about this salad is the addition of pistachios and raisins. I am sure you love raisins. Don’t you? Now, it's all about adding them to this salad. It creates a gorgeous sweetness in your salad which makes it taste so damn good.
Besides that, I really enjoyed having my pistachios. Without a doubt, the pistachios create this nuttiness in this salad which made the overall taste so much better.
Another important aspect of this salad is carrots. I guess you can see it from the pictures of the gorgeous orangish hue created by carrots. Now carrots taste excellent with raisins. I guess you know that if you’ve had carrot raisin salad. But, the best part is the addition of chickpeas. I mean, it’s an incredible idea to add chickpeas. It adds so much more bite into our otherwise sweetish salad.
How is this Salad Traditionally Made?
Since I have named this post as Traditional Moroccan Chickpea Quinoa Salad, I wanted to describe certain things that are a part of this salad since time immemorial.
- Red Chillies – As you might know that Moroccan cuisine is all about spice. Therefore, red chilies have always remained an integral part of this salad. However, if you believe that red chilies would make your salad too spicy, you can deseed it and then use it. Or you might skip it altogether. I have skipped red chilies because kids in my house hate too spicy food.
- Cinnamon – Everything sweet always involves a bit of cinnamon. Do I agree? Well, sort of. But cinnamon is a major component of this recipe. Moroccan spices always use cinnamon, coriander, chili powder, nutmeg etc. But here we just need cinnamon. Nothing else.
- Cayenne Pepper – Cayenne Pepper will always be a thing that would give this salad a slight edge. Considering the fact that this is an overly sweet recipe – carrots, raisins, pistachios, I guess the oldies where right when they thought of adding cayenne pepper.
- Turkish apricots - Bright Orangy, Turkish Apricots creates a fruity taste in your salad which makes it taste so much more awesome. It creates a vivid display of colors and also improves the overall taste of the salad making it much more traditional.
- Almonds - Almonds make this salad so much rich. It creates a perfect balance of nuttiness and chewiness in your salad.
- Dried Cranberries - Though not traditional but, I have seen that adding cranberries would improve the overall taste of this salad significantly. Tasting the berries in every bite would be so awesome.
Why Did I Decide to Add Quinoa?
We all know that Quinoa is an extremely healthy thing to have. Moreover, Quinoa makes the salad so filling. Hence I thought, it would be great to add Quinoa along with chickpeas in this salad. It creates a good base for the salad. While you are having it, you won't feel Quinoa at all. That’s what I like about quinoa. It hides so well. Do you know the benefit of that? Well, kids won't know!
Traditional Moroccan Chickpea Quinoa Salad with Carrots, Raisins, Feta and Pistachios
- ¾ Cup Quinoa
- 10 Ounce Chickpea (canned) (280g) Washed, Rinsed & drained
- 3 Medium Carrots Washed and grated in a bowl
- 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon Plain Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice about juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 2 teaspoon Honey or Maple Syrup
- ½ teaspoon Chilli Powder or more if you like it spicy
- ¼ teaspoon Salt or as per taste
- ½ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- ½ cup Feta Cheese
- 1 Handful Pistachios chopped
- 1 Handful Raisins
- 1 spring Mint Leaves
- First rinse Quinoa thoroughly. Then, Follow the directions on the package to cook your quinoa. Fluff it with a fork once it's cooked.
- First, add a layer of cooked Quinoa in a medium-sized bowl. Add washed, rinsed, and drained chickpeas. Follow it with Grated carrots.
- In a small bowl take some vinegar, Honey, olive oil, ground cinnamon, cayenne pepper, salt, lemon juice and Dijon Mustard. Mix well.
- Add soaked raisins, Pistachios, Feta cheese. Drizzle the dressing all over the Salad. Add some mint leaves. You can have it immediately. Or Refrigerate it for about 15 minutes and then serve.