Moroccan Chickpea Stew

Moroccan Chickpea Stew
Moroccan food is among my favorites when we eat out. For one, it is never hard to find vegan dishes in Moroccan restaurants because the cuisine of that region is rich in vegetables and grains and legumes and spices. Then there are the candles, the belly dancing, and all those other fun trimmings. What’s not to love?

But if you are willing to forego the extras, it can be quite easy to whip up a divine Moroccan dinner right in your own kitchen. Better, you can make it really healthy.

This Moroccan Chickpea Stew that I’m serving up today is just such a fragrant concoction, and I’ll bet you will want to eat every last drop of it right at one sitting.

I love chickpeas– they’re quite possibly my most adored legume– and I sometimes really, really crave them. As I was this weekend, when I decided to make this stew. I use a number of veggies in this stew, so it makes for a complete meal with some couscous, bulgur, rice or even some polenta, which is what I served it with.

The chilli paste I stir into the stew at the tail end is called Harissa, and it is a traditional North African paste that is just bursting with flavor. Don’t skip it, because it really makes a huge difference.

Moroccan Chickpea Stew
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Stew
Cuisine: Moroccan
Serves: 8
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked for a few hours or overnight, then cooked until tender in a pressure cooker or on the stovetop.
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 red bliss or yellow potatoes, diced
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 20 cherry tomatoes, halved, or about 5 plum tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 green pepper, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp coriander + 1 tsp cumin seeds, ground into a powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp thyme, remove leaves from stems and run a knife through them.
  • For the Harissa paste
  • 15 red chilies, soaked for about 2 hours and then drained
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds + 1 tsp coriander seeds, lightly toasted, then powdered in a spice grinder.
  1. Make the Harissa paste by putting all of the Harissa ingredients in a food processor and process until fairly smooth. You can freeze the remaining paste in an air-tight jar.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the oil and add the onions.
  3. Fry until the edges are browned. Add the ginger and garlic and saute another minute.
  4. Add the chickpeas and about 2 cups of liquid. Add tomatoes, coriander-cumin powder, potatoes, turmeric and salt to taste.
  5. Cover and cook about 20 minutes.
  6. Add the thyme, carrots, zucchini and green peppers. Cook another 10 minutes until all the vegetables are tender.
  7. Check salt. Stir in 2 tbsp of the Harissa paste (recipe follows).
  8. Serve hot.


Here’s Freddie out for a leisurely morning walk. He loves to walk really, really slow, taking his time to sniff every calling card he finds along the way. Strange, those dogs.

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  1. says

    I love the combo of couscous & Veg stew, I ve my version posted earlier which is little similar. Harissa is the key ingre as u said ! That is perfect meal :)

  2. says

    Just to think of this dish makes me very hungry for spicy chickpeas. What’s not to love, indeed!

    Freddie’s a dear, old chap. I’m glad he is enjoying himself despite slowing down. : }

  3. says

    Chickpea is a favorite of mine too and anything with chickpeas and vegetables and so colorful is right up my alley…will give it a try soon:)

  4. says

    Cham: Thanks. The harissa does indeed make all the difference.

    Siri, Karuna, Sunshinemom, Christy, Susan, Usha, Jo, Thanks!

    Sangeeth: Thanks! Freddie will be 16 in December. He’s quite a guy!

    Aparna: You’re right. Moroccan food does indeed share a lot of the same flavors as Indian cuisine, making it very appealing, I think, to our tastebuds.

    Pete, You can easily make the harissa yourself, following the recipe in my post. I guess you might be able to find the paste readymade at some ethnic stores.

  5. says

    Vaishali I made the stew today for dinner and we all loved it absolutely. It was very filling and tasty. My husband couldn’t get enough of it. I wanted to take a picture to put it in the blog but it became so dark here around 6.30pm itself. So I have reserved a small portion to take a picture tomorrow. I forgot to soak the red chillies, so I just ground it fresh for the harissa and it did taste well. Thank you for this wonderful recipe.

  6. says

    Hi Vaishali. This looks so good and as I prepare meals for my elderly mother, who loves chickpeas, this will be a part of tomorrow’s dinner. Can you tell me when you soak the chilis – are they the dried ones or fresh. Never heard of soaking before, so just want to check this out. Thanks so much.

  7. says

    Hi Vaishali,

    I made this recipe on Sunday, and since I’m in Barbados I alternated a couple things (pumpkin for zucchini, 1 potato for 1 sweet potato, and red chilis for scotch bonnet peppers). It was simple, delicious and AMAZING! The harrisa is the perfect addition, and my family also loved it. Can’t wait to get more of your recipes via email!

  8. Sally Jones says

    Hi Vaishali,
    I am new for about three + months and absolutely love your food and your blog. I studied in India and miss the food. You make it so easy and simply delsih!
    Thank You!

  9. Miru says

    Both dish and Freddie look awesome. Please what breed is Freddie?… a few weeks ago I rescued an old chap who looks like his twin brother :)

  10. Pat Cleminson says

    Dear Vaishali,
    I am new to your e-mails and am wondering just how spicy these dishes are. For health reasons I am unable to eat very hot spicy food. This Moroccan dish sounds so good I really want to try it but am a little scared I will not be able to eat it. Please help.

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