In January I want it all. I want comfort food. Rib-sticking heart-warming indulgence. And I also want to eat a little lighter after all the holiday excess. My chickpea and sweet potato tagine gives me both -- hearty and flavorful, but hardly any calorie. What could be better?
My most frequently asked question about this recipe is "what's a tagine?" "Tagine" refers to both the dish -- a stew really -- as well as the cone-topped clay vessel it's cooked in. I make mine in big batches on top of the stove, warming the house with the pungent north African spices.
Morrocan Chickpea Sweet Potato Tagine
Serves six as a main course
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons minced ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds sweet potatoes (about three)
2 cups cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
½ cup raisins
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 cup vegetable stock
½ cup cilantro leaves, minced
Preheat a sauté pan over medium high heat. Add oil and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, about eight minutes. Meanwhile, crush coriander and cumin in a mortar and pestle or with the bottom of a heavy pan, then stir together with turmeric, salt and cayenne pepper. Add ginger and garlic to the onions, then stir in the spices and cook another three to five minutes to let the spices color the onions, stirring to prevent garlic from burning.
Add sweet potatoes, chickpeas, raisins, tomatoes and vegetable stock and simmer about 20 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender. Stir in cilantro.
Recipe used with permission from Janine MacLachlan, www.RusticKitchen.com. All rights reserved.