Moroccan Chickpea Tagine with Quinoa Couscous

by Anjali @ The Picky Eater on October 11, 2012

It’s no secret that the husband and I LOVE to travel.

When we were in Sydney this summer, we stopped at a wonderful little Moroccan / Mediterranean restaurant, where we ordered a bunch of our favorite dishes, including a flavorful, traditional Moroccan tagine.

A “tagine” is actually a unique ceramic or clay vessel, used to slow-cook stews and other dishes. But the word “tagine” also refers to the delicious dish which is slow-cooked inside the vessel. Typically a tagine is a rich savory stew of meat or vegetables, cooked to a buttery tenderness.

And while I love a good vegetable tagine, I always wish that the tagines I’ve gotten at most restaurants have more protein in them (often vegetable tagines, while extremely succulent, are mainly just vegetables cooked in a spicy sauce).

I decided to make my own version this past weekend, to recreate the traditional tagine into something that’s light and healthy, but BIG on taste.

To save a bit of time on the slow cooking, I turned to three of my favorite spice blends: 1) Ras El Hanout 2) Shawarma Spice Blend and 3) Curry Powder.

These spice blends made the dish taste like it had been simmering on the stove for hours, but it really only took an hour to make from start to finish.

For some added protein, I included chickpeas and served it with a quinoa “couscous.” Mint and dried apricots gave some added sweetness and dimension, and a sprinkling of sliced almonds over the top was perfect for a bit of crunch and texture.

The Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dried quinoa, cooked with 1 cup of water
  • 8 dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 zucchini, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced (optional)
  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 1 15oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 4-8 oz veggie broth
  • 2-2.5 tsp Ras El Hanout
  • 1 tsp Shawarma Spice Blend
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne powder
  • A sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Fresh mint, chopped
  • Sliced almonds

The Directions

Step 1: Soak the apricots in hot water and set aside. They will absorb the water and reconstitute while you are cooking the other ingredients.
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Step 2: Chop all of the veggies: onions, sweet potatoes, garlic, zucchini, etc.
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Step 3: Saute the onions and garlic in 2 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Let the onions cook until they have caramelized slightly. Add the rest of the ingredients: potatoes, zucchini, carrots (if using), tomatoes, chickpeas, and all of the spices. Add 4oz veggie broth, stir to combine, and let all of the ingredients simmer on medium heat, covered, for at least 10 minutes until the potatoes and chickpeas are tender.
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Step 4: While the tagine is cooking, combine the quinoa and water in a pot, bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes until the quinoa is cooked. Fluff with a fork.
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Step 5: Take the apricots out of the water and chop them. Chop the mint as well.
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Step 6: Uncover the tagine and finish cooking through. Let some of the excess water boil off (if there is any). If it’s gotten dry, add a bit more vegetable broth until it’s the consistency you want. When it’s done, it will look like this:
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Step 7: Stir the apricots, mint and almonds into the quinoa, and serve.
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The quinoa adds a great nuttiness and texture when served with the tagine.
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The husband loved this dish.

He went back for seconds, and thirds.

The husband actually loves regular potatoes in tagines and curries – so I decided to substitute in sweet potatoes / yams instead of regular potatoes for the same texture, but even more flavor and good-for-you nutrition.

I think he might have liked the sweet potatoes even better than regular potatoes :)

And I just loved the great color this entire dish had.

It was irresistible.

Moroccan Chickpea Tagine with Quinoa Couscous

Total Time: 60 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Calories per serving: 238.8

Fat per serving: 2.3g

Nutritional Info Per Serving: 238.8 Calories, 2.3g Fat, 387.9mg Sodium, 47.7g Carbs, 8.3g Fiber, 8.7g Sugar, 8.8g Protein

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dried quinoa, cooked with 1 cup of water
  • 8 dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 zucchini, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced (optional)
  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 1 15oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 4-8 oz veggie broth
  • 2-2.5 tsp Ras El Hanout
  • 1 tsp Shawarma Spice Blend
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne powder
  • A sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Fresh mint, chopped
  • Sliced almonds

Directions

  1. Soak the apricots in hot water and set aside. They will absorb the water and reconstitute while you are cooking the other ingredients.
  2. Chop all of the veggies: onions, sweet potatoes, garlic, zucchini, etc.
  3. Saute the onions and garlic in 2 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Let the onions cook until they have caramelized slightly. Add the rest of the ingredients: potatoes, zucchini, carrots (if using), tomatoes, chickpeas, and all of the spices. Add 4oz veggie broth, stir to combine, and let all of the ingredients simmer on medium heat, covered, for at least 10 minutes until the potatoes and chickpeas are tender.
  4. While the tagine is cooking, combine the quinoa and water in a pot, bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes until the quinoa is cooked. Fluff with a fork.
  5. Take the apricots out of the water and chop them. Chop the mint as well.
  6. Uncover the tagine and finish cooking through. Let some of the excess water boil off (if there is any). If it’s gotten dry, add a bit more vegetable broth until it’s the consistency you want. When it’s done, it will look like this:
  7. Stir the apricots, mint and almonds into the quinoa, and serve.
http://pickyeaterblog.com/moroccan-chickpea-tagine-with-quinoa-couscous/

 

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings October 12, 2012 at 6:08 am

I want to give this recipe a try– I haven’t had Moroccan food before– I know- gasp!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater October 12, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Oh wow! You must try this recipe then – you’ll be hooked on Moroccan food after your meal is over – I promise! :)

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Sunnie@moderngirlnutrition October 12, 2012 at 8:02 am

This looks amazing, and your photos are gorgeous! So glad I found your blog!:)

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater October 12, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Aw thanks so much Sunnie! I’m sure you will love this recipe!

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Lizzy October 14, 2012 at 6:55 pm

That looks amazing, thanks for the recipe.

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater October 15, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Thanks Lizzy! Let me know how it turns out for you! :)

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Cole October 18, 2012 at 9:54 am

This dish sounds great! For a sugustion, try tabouli salad with cilantro and cucumber, with a hint of lime.

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater October 24, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Thanks Cole! A tabbouleh salad would be a fun swap for the quinoa couscous in this recipe!

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iGOZEN October 18, 2012 at 11:58 am

Chickpeas are an amazing ingredient for just about any meal. They taste great in salads as well.

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater October 24, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Absolutely! Thanks!

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Kathy Steger @ FoodWineThyme October 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I love dried apricots. My mom used to make a dish similar to this one when I was a kid and serve it with rice. Reminded me of how much I used to love it. Will definitely give this a try. Btw I have the same pot set. :)

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater October 24, 2012 at 10:26 pm

I’m such a fan of dried apricots too – I love putting them in savory dishes because they add such a perfect amount of sweetness. Love that you have the same pot set! :) Hope you like this recipe!

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Jordan Fox November 11, 2012 at 7:39 pm

This sounds amazing! My first dish that I saw that I liked upon my arrival on Foodie! Is there a way to post this on my site, or put it in a “recipe” area so I can have it available to me or must I remember it (or print out while I’m on this page) in order to get recipe?

Thanks for posting! I live in SF too and am following you – though I am not a picky eater.

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater November 11, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Hi Jordan! I’m so glad you like this dish!! In terms of ways to save it, I don’t have a “recipe box” function installed on my site yet (so you can’t log in and save recipes – but that is coming soon!) so your best options are: 1) bookmark the page 2) print out the printable version of the recipe 3) add me to your RSS feed so you can access all of my recipes there. Hope that helps!! So nice to meet you!

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Jordan Fox November 11, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Cool thanks! I look forward to seeing your posts and trying out some recipes!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater November 11, 2012 at 10:35 pm

No problem at all! Thanks Jordan! :)

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Jeannie June 20, 2013 at 1:53 pm

**This is my first recipe from your site, and I can hardly wait to eat it. The smells are amazing.
I’m so happy I found this place! I’ve only cooked one other middle-eastern dish, and now I’m becoming obsessed
with reading middle eastern recipes. Yours are so easy to follow. Thanks!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater June 25, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Yay!! I’m so happy to hear that Jeannie – I love this recipe – it’s one of my favorites! I’m sure you will too!

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Jenny Mooney July 7, 2013 at 4:59 pm

This dish was so tasty. I loved the contrast of the sweet apricot and the cayenne pepper. My husband loved it and told me that we must leave a comment to thank the author of this recipe. Thank you Anjali!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater July 9, 2013 at 7:22 am

Ohh yay! I’m so glad you and your husband both loved this recipe! The sweet/spicy combination is one of my favorite things about it too :) Thanks so much for letting me know Jenny!

Reply

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