1 cup quinoa
2 cups water or vegetable stock
1 medium onion, cut into thin rings
3 garlic cloves, finely diced
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon garam masala
1 x 400-gram can chickpeas in brine, drained and rinsed well
¼ preserved lemon, finely diced, or zest of 1 lemon
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks using a julienne peeler (you can also grate it)
juice of 2 lemons
4 medjool dates, stone removed and finely diced
⅓ cup raw pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
large handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
½ ripe avocado, sliced or cut into cubes
sea salt and ground black pepper
olive oil, for sautéing
Place the quinoa and water or stock in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook, with a lid ajar, for 12–15 minutes until tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat. Place the lid on tightly and leave to sit for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and set aside until ready to use.
Heat a very generous glug of oil in a sauté pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook gently, without browning, for 5–10 minutes until tender. Add the fennel seeds, cumin and garam masala. Cook for a further minute, adding additional oil if needed. Add the chickpeas and preserved lemon. Cook for 4 minutes. Add the cooked quinoa and stir well until ingredients are evenly combined. Season very well.
Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 5–10 minutes.
Add the carrot, lemon juice, dates, pistachios, parsley and thyme. Toss to combine.
Top with the avocado just prior to serving.