Smoky, Spicy Black Chickpea, Corn, and Pepper Salsa

Ancho (Ahn-cho) Chile (Capsicum Annum) means Wide Chile Pepper. This chile ranges from 3 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. An Ancho is the dried form of a Poblano Pepper and often is mislabeled as a Pasilla or Mulato Pepper. Anchos have sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig. Anchos, combined with the Pasilla and Guajillo, form the Holy Trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces. Scoville heat units are 1,000 to 3,000.

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1/2 cup dried black chickpeas or black beans
4 tomatoes
1 tbsp extra olive oil
1 clove of crushed/minced garlic
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 tsp smoky paprika
1/2 tsp paprika
pinch of chili flakes
1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp honey or other sweetener
1 cup chopped pepper (red, green, yellow or other)
1 cup fresh corn kernels
2 green onions, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper finely chopped
Handful fresh cilantro (~1/2 cup)
1 lime
1 avocado, firm-soft
Tortilla chips


Soak chickpeas for 24 hours in water, in the fridge. Change water once. Bring a pot of water to boil and boil chickpeas for 30 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, peel tomatoes. First, cut a cross in the bottom of the tomato skin, place in a pot of boiling water for one minute and then submerge in ice water. The skins should now come off very easily. In a shallow pot, heat 1 tbsp oil and cook garlic and onions for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, chop tomatoes, keeping juice and add to the cooking garlic and onions. Into the tomatoes, stir in 1 cup of water, chickpeas, sea salt, smoky and regular paprika, chili flakes, chili powder, cinnamon and sweetener. Bring to a simmer and cook about 30 minutes until most of the juices have reduced and the chickpeas are tender. Note that once cooled, the remaining juices will thicken slightly.

While the tomatoes and chickpeas are simmering, chop the remaining vegetables (peppers, corn, green onion, jalapeño and cilantro) and mix in a bowl with the juice from one lime.

When the chickpea mix is done, let it cool about 5 minutes and then stir into the corn mixture. Season with sea salt if desired. Lastly, stir in avocado (if very soft, stir in gently) and serve immediately with tortilla chips (or eat as a salad).