Chickpea Tagine

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Technically, this is not a tagine.  The name ‘tagine’ comes from the funnel shaped clay pot that the stew is cooked in, so any stew that is cooked in one of these is a tagine, much like any meal that is cooked all in one pot is called a stew or a casserole in the UK.

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This was originally a Moroccan-style lamb tagine recipe but I converted it a few years ago for my then vegetarian boyfriend (same boyfriend but he’s now a vegan).  It went down so well that it has become a firm favourite.  All I did to change it was to replace the meat with extra vegetables.  A lot of stews, casseroles, soups etc can be veganised this way.  I like to add thick slices of carrot to give extra ‘bite’ to the texture.  Serve with some leafy greens such as kale or broccoli for extra protein and calcium.

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As well as being a traditional addition to tagines, apricots also provide small amounts of iron and calcium and just 3 dried apricots will give you 1/5th  of your daily requirements of vitamin A.  Personally, I like the apricots for their squishy sweetness that adds a subtle balance to the acidity of the tomatoes.

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Ingredients

Feeds 6

  • 2-3 tblsps olive oil
  • 1 lge onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tblsp ground cumin
  • 1 tblsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp crushed black pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 tblsp tomato paste
  • 475ml vegetable stock/broth
  • 2 cans of chickpeas/garbanzo, drained
  • 120g dried apricots, chopped
  • 60g dried dates, cut in half
  • 1 can chopped plum tomatoes
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • a handful of toasted almonds
  • 2 tblsps fresh coriander/cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to season

Method

  • Heat the oil and fry the onions until soft.
  • Add the cumin, ground coriander, fennel seeds, cayenne pepper, crushed black pepper and garlic. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
  • Add the tomato paste, cook and stir for 1-2 minutes. Add a drop of the stock if it catches on the pan.
  • Add the stock, chickpeas, apricots, tomatoes, cinnamon sticks, carrots and red pepper.
  • Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 25-35 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
  • Season to taste.
  • sprinkle the chopped coriander and almonds over the top when ready to serve.

Like most spicy stew-like meals, this tastes much better the next day.  If you are going to do this, cool, cover, and place in the fridge.  Re-heat by bringing it to the boil, and then simmering at a medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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