Almost Moroccan Three-bean Salad

This is a story about playing with your food. We have always liked chick peas. They are probably the most versatile of all beans. If you start with them as a base for veggie burgers, you can add anything you want (or anything you find in your refrigerator), and surprise yourself with a new dish. You add them to salads, soups, and stews, you mash them up into hummus or grind them into flour and make pancakes, and they are like your basic little black dress – serve any purpose depending on accessories. So one day I had about 1 1/2 cup leftover chick peas, already cooked.

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What can I do with them that I haven’t already done without looking through other people’s recipes? There is a popular Mediterranean salad that consists of black beans and corn. I have modified it a little and will post the recipe at some point. But what if I add black beans to those chick peas? No, they were sort of incomplete and asking for something else. So I went purely on color combination – what would look good together?

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Adding red kidney beans seemed like a good idea, maybe because I didn’t have any string beans at the moment, but it proved to be a lucky impulse. Then I started really playing with it – seasoning time.

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Diced onion was obvious, and garlic almost begged to be included. With garlic came cilantro, olive oil, and light balsamic vinegar. But all that was like, done, tried, and boring. What else could I throw in there to make it sing? I’ve always used cumin with chick peas and cinnamon with black beans, so they should work together, right?

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Ancient Greeks and Romans believed that cumin promoted love and fidelity, while curry is supposed to prevent graying hair and altogether keep you young and beautiful. What a winning combination! Add to that ginger that generates energy by improving blood circulation (or so they claim), and cinnamon that I try to use virtually in everything because it kills cholesterol, and let’s see what happens. I usually grate fresh ginger, but this time just happened to run out of it.

I mixed it all up, tasted it, liked it, and started making it once in a while. The first time my daughter-in-law tried it, she said, “Wow, it tastes Moroccan!”

“Neh,- said my son, no way.”

“Dovid, – dramatically whispered my daughter-in-law, – stop this, you are offending your mom!”

I didn’t feel offended at all, but my husband also decided to jump on my defense with:

“Yeah, Dovid, who are you to judge? You are not Moroccan!”

“But Hila is, – said Dovid, who never misses a chance to compliment his wife, – and she is the best Moroccan cook in the world.”

Somewhat mollified, she turned to him and asked, ” What’s not Moroccan about this salad?”

“It’s not hot enough,” said my son who can munch on hot peppers the way normal people pop chocolates.

At this point I went to the kitchen, put a glove on, and plopped on his plate…

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…some hot peppers. Now it became Moroccan in his mind and on his palate. I was curious, however, and started researching. I discovered that the exact combination of spices I came up with by “playing with my food,” is used in various traditional Moroccan white bean recipes called Loubia.  Curry and sometimes cinnamon are used in Persian Loobia (or Lubia), a stew with green beans. What fascinated me from a purely linguistic point of view is that I’ve always made a Georgian Lobio (for recipe, please click here), which is a red bean stew, with garlic, cilantro, and some other tasty stuff. Coincidence? Or co-influence? I don’t know, but the salad is a winner.

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And if you like it hot, do what my son did, and add some Jalapeno peppers, or what Israelis do, and add some Harissa (a paste made of all hot peppers you can think of). Either way, don’t forget to glove up before you handle this stuff!


  • 1 1/2 cup chick peas, cooked
  • 1 1/2 cup black beans, cooked
  • 1 1/2 cup red kidney beans, cooked
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 3/4 large cloves of garlic, squeezed
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • Cumin, curry, cinnamon to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil and light balsamic vinegar to taste
  • Optional: hot peppers or hot pepper paste


Soak beans and cook them together or use fresh frozen beans (I prefer those). You can use cans, if you like, a can of each. Drain and rinse well. Add the rest of the ingredients, season, and mix.


38 Comments Add yours

  1. Reblogged this on koolkosherkitchen and commented:

    As we are getting closer to holidays and holiday guests, I thought it might be helpful to repeat this easy but delicious salad that could be thrown together on a moment’s notice.


  2. This looks great: simple, easy and delicious 😋

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Carol! Considering that I always have a supply of several types of sprouted, pre-cooked, portioned out, and frozen beans, all I have to do is to pull them out and defrost. Have to use them all up before Pesach, though!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Me too. Time to start cleaning 🧹 🧼 🧽

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Let’s collectively take a deep breath and get to it!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. So do we all; as one of our local Rabbis remarked (at a men’s class), before Pesach, all ladies go into a state of temporary insanity, so you guys, keep your mouths shut and get out of the way.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I like this Rabbi. Everyone thinks I am over reacting. I disagree. There is a lot to do and it needs to get done. One year, when the girls were very little, I found a bag of pretzels buried in one of their bags. I was mortified! Now, I put all the bags away and we have special ones for Pesach.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Rabbi Efraim Schapiro is both wonderful and brilliant.
        However, there is no need to be mortified, as long as you do your due diligence, because remember, you do sell all your chometz before Pesach, so if something is overlooked, it’s not yours, technically. I clear up and thoroughly clean and line a couple of cabinets and seal the rest, in case there is something there I may have forgotten, before I start unpacking Pesach dishes and utensils. We buy Pesach-approved cat food, which the cats don’t really like, but they survive for one week.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I think our cat food is kitniot. I better check, because he is not a flexible cat.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Most varieties of pet food for Pesach contain kitnios; it’s not a problem. Here is a list:

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Thank you! I hope the poor cat will be able to adjust.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. He’ll survive for a week, I am sure, the same way mine do. Are you growing catnip? That might console him, if the food is not to his liking. Is it a he or a she, by the way?

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Here is the story of our cat Ari

        He is a male cat. My husband, as an act of true love, let me finally have a cat, as long as he lives outside. Ironically, the cat prefers my husband! And, although Jay claims to feel indifferent to Ari, we all know otherwise. He has been a wonderful addition to our family. However, he only eats cat food, not people food. I hope he doesn’t have food issues like us. How ironic.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. Just went and saw Ari’s picture; he looks like a relative of my Beba. Very cute!
        I made a comment on your Challah Kugel post, and her is what I made today for Shabbos:
        I didn’t have raisins, though, so I used Medjool dates, and my challahs already have chocolate chips built in, so to speak.

        Liked by 1 person

      12. I like the rum idea. Does it get soaked into the dish or evaporate? I tried to make a comment on the post directly but somehow, the app keeps crashing.

        Liked by 1 person

      13. While alcohol evaporates during cooking and baking, it enhances the taste. I can’t even imagine soaking raisins or dates in water. I feel it would wash away part of the flavor.

        Liked by 1 person

      14. I usually just add vanilla extract. And, I never even heard of soaking them before. Maybe soaking gives them a better texture?

        Liked by 1 person

      15. It does make them moist and it enhances flavor. You don’t soak them to mush, though; just slightly, until soft.
        As to gebrokhts, we use spelt and oat matzoh because I am trying to keep my husband off gluten as much as possible, so if you are allergic to wheat, you can make kugels with those varieties.

        Liked by 1 person

      16. I prefer spelt over oats. Fortunately I can tolerate it.

        Liked by 1 person

      17. That’s great, and spelt matzo is readily available everywhere.

        Liked by 1 person

      18. Forgot to mention: you can make crushed or broken matzoh kugels but soaking matzoh pieces (farfalach) in hot water for a few minutes. You must add egg, though (are you ok with eggs?), and then play with flavors, sweet or savory. But do you eat gebrokhts (dishes made by cooking matzoh) on Pesach?

        Liked by 1 person

      19. It’s a good question. We do eat gebrokts, but I am allergic to wheat, so I can’t.

        Plus, it seems to be out of style.

        So many people we know do not, so I always have to make mostly non-gebrokhts any way.

        Growing up, I never heard of not eating gebrokts. When someone told me about it, I thought they were teasing me and making a joke.

        What about you??

        Liked by 1 person

      20. Eating gebrokhts is a long discussion, and I’d rather do it by e-mail, Carol.
        Growing up, I learned to make Pesach noodles and breakfast rolls, using potato starch, and even Pesach candy. As you would imagine, we didn’t have anything ready-made in stores.

        Liked by 1 person

      21. I would love to. I am trying to figure out what desserts to make that taste good and gluten free.

        Liked by 1 person

      22. I can’t make anything out of matzo just yet, so there is nothing to photograph, but I’ll send you a recipe by e-mail.

        Liked by 1 person

      23. Thank you! If possible could you please send delicious non gebrock ones? Some of my husband’s family won’t eat it otherwise. Every year I have to juggle so many dietary restrictions and preferences. It is sometimes a challenge to accommodate everyone.

        Liked by 1 person

      24. Do they eat in the house where gebrokhts are made?

        Liked by 1 person

      25. In that case, I’ll shoot you an e-mail on Sunday, G-d willing. Have a great Shabbos!

        Liked by 1 person

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