Vegetable and Chickpea Tagine with Couscous (Pareve)

Chickpea tagine
Cultura RF/BRETT STEVENS/Getty Images
  • 55 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6
Ratings (8)

Turn a head of cauliflower and some pantry staples into a delicious, warming meal ideal for busy nights. Because it is mildly spiced, this vegan Vegetable and Chickpea Tagine is a nice choice for family dinners shared with babies and toddlers.

If you prefer a more intensely spiced stew, add additional cumin, cinnamon, and ginger, or use a Moroccan spice blend, such as Ras el Hanout, to taste. Pass harissa or hot sauce at the table, so diners can add some heat to their dish if desired.

Make It A Meal: Non-vegetarians can turn this into an even more substantial meal by topping the coucous with chicken or fish. Or, serve the tagine and couscous as side dishes alongside this citrus and saffron infused roasted chicken or Smoky Cedar Plank Salmon. Serve Moroccan Sliced Oranges with Cinnamon, Sugar and Orange Flower Water as a perfect light dessert.

What You'll Need

  • For the Vegetable Tagine:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 1 small onion (peeled and chopped, about 1 cup or 165 g)
  • 4 large cloves garlic (peeled, smashed, and chopped)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 large sweet potato (peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks, about 2 cups or 350 g)
  • 2 cups/475 ml. vegetable stock
  • 4 cups/325 g. cauliflower florets
  • 1 14.5-ounce/411 g. can diced tomatoes (or canned whole plum tomatoes, chopped, with their juice)
  • 1 15-ounce/425 g. can chickpeas
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • For the Couscous:
  • 1 1/2 cups/355 ml. water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 1 1/2 cups/260 g. couscous (whole wheat or regular)
  • Garnish: harissa
  • Garnish: slivered almonds or whole cashews
  • Garnish: golden raisins
  • Garnish: finely chopped parsley

How to Make It

  1. Warm the olive oil in a large chef's pan or heavy pot set over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, or until it softens and turns translucent. Add the garlic, cumin, ginger, and cinnamon, and sauté for one minute, or until the spices are fragrant. Add the sweet potato and sauté to coat with the spices.
  2. Pour in the vegetable stock. Add the cauliflower florets, tomatoes, and chickpeas. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and allow the tagine to rest while you prepare the couscous.
  1. Bring the water and olive oil to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the couscous, cover and remove from the heat. Allow the couscous to rest for 5 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork.
  2. To serve: Spoon a mound of couscous into shallow bowls. Surround the couscous with the vegetable tagine, and spoon some of the brothy sauce over each serving. Garnish as desired with harissa, slivered almonds, raisins, and parsley.

Or, to serve family style, spread the couscous in a large, rimmed platter. Make a well in the center of the couscous, and spoon the vegetable tagine into the well. Sprinkle with almonds, raisins and parsley if desired, and serve with harissa on the side. Enjoy!