Moroccan Tagine with Carrots, Potatoes and Chickpeas

Moroccan Tagine with Carrots, Chickpeas and Potatoes
Moroccan Tagine with Carrots, Chickpeas and Potatoes. Photo © Christine Benlafquih
  • 95 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 75 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Ratings (4)

This Moroccan tagine features a family style vegetable combo of carrots, potatoes, and chickpeas. Spicy food lovers will want to add the optional cayenne pepper or serve harissa on the side.

Moroccans usually prefer dried chickpeas over canned. If using dried, soak about 1 cup of beans overnight, and then cook until tender (60 minutes or longer) in salted water before adding them to the recipe.

Cooking time is for a pressure cooker. Allow double this time if preparing in a conventional pot, and triple this time if cooking in a clay or ceramic tagine.

What You'll Need

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds (500 to 700 grams) beef, lamb or goat meat, cut into 2" or 3" pieces
  • 2 onions, chopped or sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or pressed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro and/or parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
  • Pinch of saffron threads, crumbled (optional)
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil
  • ----------------------------------------------------
  • 1 lb. (500 g) carrots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • 1 lb. (500 g) potatoes, peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • 2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup red or green olives
  • 1
  • preserved lemon, cut into quarters and seeds removed
  • additional parsley or cilantro, for garnish

How to Make It

Pressure Cooker Method

Mix the meat with onion, garlic, cilantro/parsley, spices and olive oil in a pressure cooker. Brown the meat, uncovered, over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 3 cups of water, cover, and cook the meat with pressure for 25 minutes if using beef, and about 35 minutes if using lamb or goat meat.

Add the carrots, adding water if necessary so that the broth almost reaches the top of the carrots.

Cover and cook with pressure for about 7 minutes. Add the potatoes and chickpeas, and cook with pressure until the potatoes are tender, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the preserved lemon and olives, and reduce the sauce until it is thick. Transfer the tagine to a large serving platter, garnishing with freshly chopped parsley if desired.

Conventional Pot Method

Mix the meat with onion, garlic, cilantro or parsley, spices and olive oil in a Dutch oven or pot. Brown the meat, uncovered, over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 3 cups of water, cover, and simmer the meat for about 1 hour if using beef, and about 1 1/2 hours if using lamb or goat meat. Occasionally check on the level of the broth, and add more water if necessary during the cooking.

Add the carrots and enough water so that the broth almost reaches the top of the carrots. Cover and simmer the carrots until almost tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the potatoes, chickpeas, olives and preserved lemon, and continue simmering, covered, until the potatoes are tender. Uncover and reduce the sauce until thick. Transfer the tagine to a large serving platter, garnishing with freshly chopped parsley if desired.

Clay or Ceramic Tagine Method

Slice the onion instead of chopping it, and tie the parsley or cilantro into a bouquet instead of chopping it.

Pour about half of the olive oil into the base of a large tagine. Distribute the onions over the bottom and then arrange the carrots on top of the onions.

In a bowl, mix the meat with the garlic and spices.

Place the meat in the middle of the tagine, bone or fatty sides down. Swirl 2 cups of water in the bowl to rinse the spices, and then add this water and the remaining olive oil to the tagine.

Top the meat with the parsley bouquet and distribute the olives and preserved lemon wedges over the meat and carrots.

Cover the tagine and place on a diffuser over medium-low to medium heat and allow the tagine to reach a simmer. This can take some time so be patient. Once a simmer is achieved, reduce the heat to the lowest temperature necessary to maintain the simmer, and cook for about 3 hours. Add the chickpeas (and a little water if you feel it's necessary), and continue cooking for another 30 to 60 minutes, until the meat and carrots are very tender and the liquids are reduced. Discard the cilantro bouquet, and garnish with freshly chopped parsley if desired. Serve directly from the tagine.