amy chaplin

celebrating the art of eating well

Chickpea tagine

POSTED ON April 22, 2011

chickpea tagine with quinoa and labne

Tagine is a spicy Moroccan stew that is traditionally cooked in a tall, conical ceramic dish. Here I have substituted a wide skillet, but any good pot will do. What’s important is adding a nice blend of aromatic spices and balancing the heat to your taste. You can make it with any combination of beans or vegetables, and add olives, preserved lemons or dried fruits to create your own fragrant and delicious tagine.

It may seem like chickpeas are a theme lately, but the truth is I cook them all the time, or at least once a week. Having a container of cooked chickpeas in the fridge means that a quick and tasty meal is not far from my bowl. I love marinating them with olive oil, parsley and scallions and eating them as a topping for grains or greens. If I have left over marinated beets, like I did last week, then I add some cooked chickpeas and a crumbling of feta or avocado and lunch is on the table—fast!
Chickpeas have also become my go-to bean to cook for guests and clients. Once they try a freshly cooked, soft chickpea, they fall for them too.


with red cabbage

Chickpeas provide more iron and vitamin C than other types of legumes. Because of their high fiber and protein content they help regulate blood sugar imbalances too.  And, the outer skin of the bean contains concentrated amounts of antioxidants.

As opposed to last week’s chickpea socca, which I make when it’s milder outside, this stew is for those chilly spring days when you feel the cold and still crave a warming meal.

I made this chickpea tagine for a dinner party and served it with:

Quinoa, cooked with golden raisins and sprinkled with toasted pistachios

Marinated red cabbage from here

Garlic braised collard ribbons

Labne, strained biodynamic yogurt, recipe coming next

Shaved fennel the same as here

Selection of marinated olives that I bought

For dessert:

Gluten free date and almond praline tart with vanilla bean whipped cream

Ginger tea

the dinner table #1

the dinner table #2

I really enjoyed all these flavors together, the spices mingle well with the tangy labne and red cabbage; the glimpse of sweetness from the golden raisins is a lovely surprise. With that said the tagine is still great with plain steamed quinoa, which is how I ate it the next day.

chickpea tagine

sauteeing vegetables and spices

simmering tagine

Moroccan chickpea tagine

I absolutely recommend that you cook your own chickpeas. You can find instructions here and here. You will need about 2/3 cup dry chickpeas to end up with 2 cups of cooked chickpeas, but as you know I think it’s always good to have extra cooked chickpeas in the refrigerator. So go ahead and soak more.

6 cups cubed butternut squash, ¾ inch cubes

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

Sea salt

Black pepper

2 medium onions, chopped

8 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

½ small bunch flat leaf parsley, stems attached

1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

3 medium carrots, cut into 3/4 inch cubes or irregular shapes

2 cups chickpea cooking liquid, or water

1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes

2 cups cooked chickpeas

4 to 5 teaspoons harissa paste or more to taste

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place butternut squash on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with half of the olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss well and place in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a large skillet or pot, warm remaining olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions, a pinch of salt and pepper and sauté for 3 or 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and continue cooking for a minute longer. Finely chop the parsley stems and add to the onions, finely chop the parsley leaves and set aside.

Add cumin, paprika, carrots and 1 cup of the chickpea cooking liquid to the onion mixture and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until carrots are tender.
Add tomatoes and chickpeas, raise heat again and simmer for 5 more minutes. Stir in harissa paste, parsley, remaining cup of chickpea cooking liquid and the roasted squash. Continue simmering uncovered for another few minutes or until flavors meld. Season to taste.

Serves 6 to 8 people.

POSTED IN Gluten free, Grains, Mains

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