Moroccan Chickpea Chili for a Japanese Halloween


Can we get any more multi-cultural? I don’t think so. So, Halloween in Japan: No trick-or-treaters can be found, and if you’re lucky enough to find a pumpkin that’s big enough to carve, it will cost you the equivalent of 40 US dollars or more. But at least the stores have plenty of festive decorations up. And one of my students (a 6-year-old boy who recently came back to Japan after living in America for a year) showed up to English class dressed in a pirate costume and gave me a bag of candy. That was the highlight of my day. That and this delicious chili from Cooking Light. My mom always makes chili on Halloween, so I thought I’d do something similar on this side of the Pacific. We halved the recipe, but left the measurements for the spices the same (an accident, but the chili tasted delicious!) The recipe below is with our alterations. (Our grocery store doesn’t have tomato paste or cilantro, so we had to omit them).

2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. tumeric
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. chili pepper
3/4 cup water
1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 TBS. no-salt-added tomato paste
1/2 TBS. fresh lemon juice
1 TBS. chopped fresh cilantro

  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, and garlic to pan. Saute 5 min.
  • Stir in cumin and next 7 ingredients (through chili pepper). Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Add water, tomato paste, chickpeas, and canned tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
  • Stir in cilantro and lemon juice. Serves 2.


We caught Arius in the act of stealing a soup spoon.


And here’s my dog Faith back at home looking festive! Happy Halloween!

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3 thoughts on “Moroccan Chickpea Chili for a Japanese Halloween

  1. We use turnips in Scotland to make our lanterns. They are REALLY difficult to hollow out but the gnarly, discoloured skin looks pretty scary!
    Chilli sounds great and that is one cute dog. He looks like a real character. 🙂

  2. turnips! what a great idea! wait, have I seen a turnip in Japan? I’ll have to check, but I bet next year I can get creative in the vegetable section for halloween! And I decided on this chili, because I couldn’t find any other kind of bean at our store 🙂

  3. You know I have been trying to cut down on my meat eating and this sounds like the perfect recipe for that. I love chick peas, they are quite hearty and filling. Plus I can freeze some containers to have on hand….Thank you

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