Marrakech Chickpea Stew

The flavours in this stew are delicious. As the names suggests, the spice mix is native to North African cooking. And what's more wonderful about this dish is that it is a one pot meal, ideally suited to a mid week dinner. You just chuck everything in and let it simmer away while you wind down from the day. It's packed full of vegetables so makes for a very healthy option and as there is no meat in it, it is suitable for vegetarians. And served on a bed of quinoa it makes it ideal for those cutting down on white carbohydrates. Chickpeas are such a versatile bean to have in the cupboard and I always have loads of them. I've lost count of the amount of different dishes I make with chickpeas as the main ingredient, from hummus to chickpea burgers.

(serves 4-6)

1 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp sea salt
2 cups pureed or diced tomatoes
1 tsp grated ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 dried chilli (optional)
1 tbsp Ras el Hanout (recipe below)
3/4 cup unsulphured dried apricots, chopped
4 cups cooked chickpeas
1 cup cubed potato
1 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1 bunch spinach
3 cups water

Ras el Hanout
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp whole black pepper, ground
1 tsp whole cumin, ground
2 tsp whole coriander, ground

1) Heat a heavy pot to medium, once hot add the oil and the onion, cooking until the onion become soft and translucent.

2) Add the salt, garlic, chilli if using, and ras el hanout. Stir until the spices become fragrant.

3) Add the tomatoes, chopped apricots, chickpeas, potato, carrots, red pepper, and water. Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables have become soft and tender. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Just before serving, add the chopped spinach.

Serve on a bed of quinoa or brown rice, or just enjoy as is. Garnish with optional yogurt, almonds, and coriander.

lifestyle, foodBy Regina Turk