Stewy Chickpea "Tagine" with Tomatoes, Cilantro and Golden Raisins

September 29, 2017

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: This recipe is inspired by the chickpea tagine at Tara Kitchen, a Moroccan restaurant in Schenectady, New York.

Ras el hanout, which translates to "head of the shop" or "top of the shop," is a blend of many spices, often including turmeric, paprika, cumin, coriander, cardamom, and cinnamon, to name a few. I purchase mine from Tara Kitchen, but you can find the blend from many sources or you can make your own.

I prefer cooking chickpeas from scratch, but you can use canned chickpeas here with fine results. You'll need two 15-oz cans, drained and rinsed. If you use from scratch-cooked chickpeas, save the cooking liquid for the tagine.
Alexandra Stafford

Serves: 3 to 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for the squash, if using
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced to yield about 1 1/2 cups
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ras el hanout, see notes above
  • 1/2 cup finely diced cilantro, plus a few tablespoons for sprinkling at the end
  • 4 to 6 Roma (plum) or other tomatoes, finely diced to yield 2 heaping cups
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas, see notes above
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 delicata squash, optional, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • bread for serving, optional
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. If you are roasting squash, preheat the oven to 450° F. Prepare the stew. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it shimmers add the onion and immediately turn the heat down to medium. Season the onion with salt. Cook until the onion softens, stirring occasionally, and turning the heat down if necessary to ensure the onion isn't browning, about 10 to 15 minutes. (A little browning is fine.)
  2. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Add the ras el hanout and cook for another minute. Add the cilantro and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes, season with a big pinch of salt, and stir to distribute. Cook for another minute, then add the chickpeas, raisins, vinegar, and 1.5 cups of the chickpea cooking liquid (if you cooked the chickpeas from scratch) or water. Bring to a simmer, then adjust heat so mixture is gently simmering. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the liquid hasn't reduced too much. If it gets low, add water by the 1/4 cup.
  3. Meanwhile, if roasting the squash, rub some oil over a rimmed sheet pan. Spread squash over sheet pan. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of oil and season generously with salt. Toss to coat. Spread back into a single layer, then roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the underside is nice and golden. Finish the squash by sliding it under the broiler for 2 minutes or until the top of the squash is golden.
  4. When the chickpeas have simmered for about 30 minutes, taste the mixture. Add salt to taste. Because I cook the chickpeas from scratch and use the cooking liquid, which has salt in it, I rarely need to add much salt at the end. If you are using water, you may need to add more salt at the end. Just taste it, and add salt as needed. Stir in the reserved chopped cilantro.
  5. To serve, spoon chickpeas into bowls. Tuck squash aside chickpeas—they're nice to eat together—and serve bread alongside as well.

More Great Recipes:
Bean|Chickpea|Cilantro|Raisin|Tomato|Vegetable|Vinegar|Sheet Pan|Fall|Winter|Entree

Reviews (27) Questions (0)

27 Reviews

ghainskom April 26, 2018
It's not squash season so used sweet potato. Score!
 
Melissa October 23, 2017
Oh. My. Goodness. This was SO DELICIOUS. I made my own ras el hanout, minus rose petals (couldn't find them). This dish was spicy and flavorful and amazing. Can't wait to eat the leftovers!
 
Author Comment
Alexandra S. October 23, 2017
Yay!! So happy to hear this, Melissa. Nice work making the ras el hanout yourself.
 
Courtney M. October 19, 2017
Made it a few days ago. Delicious!<br />
 
Author Comment
Alexandra S. October 20, 2017
So happy to hear this, Courtney!
 
deanna1001 October 16, 2017
I recently bought a tagine and I think I'll make this in it. Maybe use a little less fluid and simmer with the lid on. I think of this as a fall version of your stewy chickpeas and tomatoes (a summer dish). Also nice that it's vegan (have a cousin to feed occasionally). Just ordered the spice and as soon as it gets here this is on my stove! Thanks.
 
Author Comment
Alexandra S. October 16, 2017
Yes, totally! Same basic foundation, different flavors. Let me know how you like your tagine. I bought one once, but it cracked, and I've never replaced it, but I love the look of them. Hope you like this one!
 
deanna1001 October 23, 2017
Worked perfectly in the tagine. I forgot the cilantro garnish but didn't miss it. Will remember for the leftovers. This is absolutely delicious!
 
Author Comment
Alexandra S. October 23, 2017
So happy to hear this, Deanna! You're making me want a tagine ... Great to hear from you.
 
Garance T. October 15, 2017
Hi! What other vinegar could work well instead of the white balsamic vinegar?
 
Author Comment
Alexandra S. October 15, 2017
Apple cider, red wine, white wine, champagne —really any type. I love white balsamic bc it's a little sweeter, but so types could work. I shy away from regular balsamic only bc it turns everything a sort of unappealing color, but that will work, too, if you don't mind the visual change.
 
Renee October 9, 2017
This sounds great but I have an aversion (some say it is an allergy) to cilantro. Can I substitute parsley or just leave it out? Or will that significantly change the character of the dish?
 
Author Comment
Alexandra S. October 9, 2017
Absolutely! Parsley will be perfect.
 
Anna October 7, 2017
Made this for dinner tonight and loved it! we're mid-hurricane at the moment, so I subbed what I had: a dry harissa spice blend, canned fire-roasted tomatoes, and currants, which were all delicious. Blasted the squash at 500 for about 15 minutes. Such a good combination, esp with the hit of vinegar. Can't wait to try the recipe how it's originally written as well!
 
Author Comment
Alexandra S. October 8, 2017
Dry harissa blend sounds perfect! I think a number of spices/spice blends could work for the ras-el-hanout — so glad you were able to adapt this to what you have on hand! Stay safe!
 
Michelle October 6, 2017
If I want to use eggplant in this recipe, where would I add it? We still have eggplants in our farmers market!
 
Author Comment
Alexandra S. October 6, 2017
Are you open to dirtying another pan? I would suggest roasting it as in this recipe: https://food52.com/recipes/72321-roasted-eggplant-salad-with-cucumber-yogurt-sauce-tomatoes-and-kale<br />and then folding it into the chickpeas towards the very end—after the 30 minutes of simmering. As I remember, Aneesa, from Tara Kitchen, cooks down a huge batch of eggplant in a large pot (with olive oil and salt, I think) and then adds that cooked eggplant to tagines as needed.
 
Michelle October 6, 2017
That sounds like a pretty delicious thing to have on hand in the fridge! Thanks for the suggestion.
 
Claudia October 5, 2017
This is an absolutely amazing recipe. I ended up having to substitute dates, since yellow raisins seems impossible to come by here where I live in Germany, and I used canned diced tomatoes instead of fresh. Regardless, it will be a regular meal on our weekly dinner menu.
 
Author Comment
Alexandra S. October 5, 2017
So happy to hear this, Claudia! I imagine I will be switching to canned diced tomatoes very soon, and dates sound delicious. Yum! Thanks for writing in.
 
Mary K. October 6, 2017
thanks for the dates substitution idea as I'm not a fan of raisins.
 
tammany October 4, 2017
This looks delicious! Do you think this would freeze well? It would be great to have something like this just waiting for me after a too-long day.
 
Author Comment
Alexandra S. October 4, 2017
Yes, absolutely!
 
tammany October 4, 2017
I know what I'm doing this weekend:)
 
Author Comment
Alexandra S. October 4, 2017
Yay!
 
fitzie October 3, 2017
How can 4 Roma tomatoes make 2 heaping cups? Around here, Romas are about the size of an egg.<br />
 
Author Comment
Alexandra S. October 4, 2017
Well, just give it a try and see. I'll change it to 4 to 6—in my experience tomatoes of all varieties come in all different sizes. This is why I included the 2 heaping cups as a reference. You really could use any kind of tomato, too. Editing now.