My sister got married a few months back, and as a result of her many wonderful wedding presents, now has a kitchen stocked with pretty much every kitchen tool, utensil, and dish imaginable. I’m only slightly jealous. Amidst all of the regular things one would expect - plates, baking pans, spatulas, knives, etc. - my sister, being the creative one in the family, also registered for some pretty awesome unique kitchenware as well. Case in point, a large earthenware tagine.
You may be thinking that a tagine is a name for a stew, not a piece of cookware. In fact, both are correct. A traditional cooking vessel of North Africa, a tagine is made of clay and consists of a circular base with low sides, and a cone-shaped portion that sits atop. This is designed to redirect any condensation back into the base, thus conserving liquid. Confusingly, the food cooked inside of a tagine, usually a delicious fragrant stew, is also called a tagine. Are you confused yet? It’s okay; I was too.
My sister has recently been using her tagine fairly often and was describing to me some of the delicious tagine stews she has been cooking. It made me a little jealous. Not having a tagine of my own, I decided to make my own version using the cookware I had readily available. So, while this recipe is maybe not a true tagine stew, I used a lot of the flavors one might associate with one. The result is a delicious, spicy vegetable stew, replete with carrots, chickpeas, golden raisins and warm spices. Served over a bed of fluffy couscous, it’s one fantastic meal. Not to mention, healthy enough to justify binging on a few extra Christmas cookies. At least that’s what I’ll keep telling myself...
Moroccan Carrot and Chickpea Stew
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 tsp ancho chile powder
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- ¾ lb carrots, cleaned and roughly chopped
- 1 19 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups water
- couscous and fresh cilantro for serving
1. Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger, and cook until just beginning to soften, about 2-3 minutes.
2. Add the chile powder, cumin, turmeric, paprika, salt and cinnamon, and continue to cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes more.
3. Add the golden raisins, lemon juice, and tomato paste, stirring until well combined. Cook another minute, then add the carrots and chickpeas. Give everything a good stir to ensure that everything is well mixed. Add the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered for about 30 minutes.
4. Remove cover and cook an additional 5 minutes to allow stew to thicken slightly. Season to taste with additional salt if needed. Serve stew atop couscous with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro on top.