This recipe has been a really long time coming for me. Over the years, there have been many a chickpea & tomato based stew I’ve tried, and it really behooves me (yes, I heard this word uttered appropriately from a colleague this week and immediately logged it as a worthy add-on to my vocabulary rolodex) to point out that when it comes to reasonable and proportionate variations of onion, spices, tomato & the ever-perennial favourite – the chickpea – you really would be hard-pressed to create something that wasn’t completely and totally edible, even utterly delicious with those ingredients.
But I’d always wanted something with a little extra X-factor, and a departure from my standard Indian bent of cumin, more cumin, maybe some coriander, ginger, yada-yada (and those are all very delicious favourites of mine for obvious reasons). Over Christmas I borrowed an authentic Moroccan cookbook from a dear friend, and have ever since been playing and exploring with new and delicious spice combos. I’ll let you decide for yourself where this sits on your ‘all-time favourite chickpea stew list’, but I’m happy to add it right to the very top of mine for now. Serve with homemade chapati and impress even yourself at what an easy & satisfying meal such simple sustenance can be.
Moroccan Spiced Chickpea + Tomato Stew:
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1.5 tsp salt of choice
- 1 teaspoon *harissa paste, OR 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 large can (796 ml) whole tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp sugar
- 4 cups cooked Super chickpeas, or any chickpeas
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- sliced radishes for garnish, if desired
First, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the chopped onion and salt and cook for 7-8 minutes until the onions are glistening and brown. Next, stir in the harissa paste or cayenne pepper, and all of the spices and cook gently for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and sugar and cook, covered at a gentle simmer, for 20 minutes.
Add the cooked chickpeas and extra water (to desired consistency) and stir. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes at a medium to low heat. When ready to serve, store in the chopped cilantro, reserving some to garnish the servings. Serve piping hot garnished with reserved cilantro, sliced radishes and a little extra olive oil & some black pepper if desired. Enjoy with fresh chapati, couscous, or rice for a complete and nourishing homemade meal.
*Harissa paste is a spice mixture that can be found in most ethnic or Mediterranean food stores. If you can’t find it there are many online resources to make it yourself, or for convenience you can simply use cayenne pepper for your spice kick.