My taste of home: Achiote chickpeas

My taste of home: Achiote chickpeas


I’m obsessed with the flavour of achiote paste, which you can buy from Mexican suppliers or on the internet. This recipe can be vegan if you leave out the feta.


50g achiote paste

125ml olive oil

4 garlic cloves, crushed

1 large onion, chopped

4 tomatoes, diced

2 x 400g tins chickpeas,

drained and rinsed

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves or

½ tsp dried oregano

¼-½ tsp chilli flakes or chipotle flakes

200g feta, crumbled

2 large handfuls baby spinach

12 corn tortillas, if serving as a main meal

  •  Blend the achiote paste with a few tablespoons of boiling water to soften it.
  • Pour the oil into a large pan and cook the garlic and onion until soft and translucent. Add the achiote and the tomatoes and stir for 5-10 minutes or so until softened.
  • Add the chickpeas, cayenne, salt, pepper, oregano and chilli or chipotle flakes. Stir to mix and cook for 5-10 minutes. Then add the feta and stir it through until it starts to melt. Finally, fold through the spinach until it starts to wilt.
  • Serve as a side dish or as a filling for warmed tacos.

TIP This recipe works well prepared ahead of time. Just stop before adding the feta and spinach and add them when you reheat.