Moroccan tagines are beautifully fragrant stews made with key spices and whispers of saffron. The French are very fond of them. I make a lot of tagines, like this Eggplant Tagine (posted on my Sew French embroidery blog). To my delight, a French woman once wrote to me to say that my tagine recipes are some of the best she's ever tried.
This vegetarian version is quick to make. It reheats well too. Creamy chickpeas give it substance and protein. It's particularly delicious with a dollop of creme fraiche or Greek yogurt on top. As the stew bubbles away, deliciously spicy aromas linger in the air.
I like to serve it with bulgur wheat pilaf. I use Trader Joe's 10 Minute Bulgur to make the pilaf. I saute a large chopped onion in some olive oil with salt and pepper and then proceed with the instructions on the package of their bulgur wheat, adding Rapunzel Vegan Bouillon Cubes to the water.
When the tagine is ready, ladle it into bowls. Serve the bulgur wheat pilaf or freshly steamed rice on top. Dig your fork in and get ready for a cozy, satisfying experience.
Moroccan Chickpea Tagine Recipe
Serves 4 with rice, couscous, quinoa, bread or bulgur wheat pilaf
Secret Ingredient Alert: Chickpea flour is used to thicken the stew. I like Bob's Red Mill brand. Mix it with equal parts water. The more you use, the thicker the stew will be. It also adds protein to the stew. You can also leave this step out with good results, but I highly recommend it. Chickpea flour is a great ingredient to keep in your kitchen. Use it to thicken all sorts of vegetarian stews and chili.
I learned about Rapunzel Bouillon Cubes from the wonderful Heidi Swanson at 101 Cookbooks. They're vegan and just delicious. I buy them by the case online. If you don't want to hunt for them, you can leave them out. Use your favorite vegetable broth or stock in place of the water in the recipe.
If all you have is regular yellow onions, then by all means use them. I happen to like the sweetness of a red onion in this recipe.
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 green or red bell pepper, chopped. I like green.
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups of chopped tomatoes. I use Pomi Brand
- 1 16 ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- 2 vegetable bouillon cubes. I use Rapunzel No Salt Vegan Bouillon (see notes)
- 1 heaping teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1 pinch of saffron threads
- 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon of dried mint
- Few pinches of sugar or drizzles of honey to balance the acid in the tomatoes
- Olive oil and/or butter for cooking. I use both.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons of garbanzo bean flour mixed with 2 teaspoons of water to thicken the tagine. (optional)
Serving Options: pita, naan, roti, chapati, couscous, bulgur wheat pilaf, quinoa, rice, fresh parsley, fresh mint, lemon wedges, creme fraiche, lite sour cream or Greek yogurt
Instructions For The Tagine:
Saute the chopped onions and bell pepper in some butter and olive oil with salt and pepper until soft. Add the cumin, saffron, cinnamon and mint. Stir and saute the spices and herbs for about a minute, being careful not to burn them. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, ginger, water, bouillon cubes, turmeric, pinches of sugar or drizzles of honey and salt and pepper to taste. Stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the chickpea flour and water mixture to thicken the stew (optional but so good). Cook for a minute or two longer. Adjust seasonings, adding a little bit more mint or cinnamon if needed. Serve with any of the above suggestions and enjoy!