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.┬áThen 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.

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

22 thoughts on “Moroccan Chickpea Stew

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    September 21, 2008 at 5:36am

    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 :)

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    September 21, 2008 at 5:59am

    Love the color of the stew Vaishali..:) YUMMY!


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    September 21, 2008 at 9:37am

    that is a nice wholesome stew. love anything with lots of veggies. will try it for sure

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    September 21, 2008 at 2:00pm

    Hey! I made something very similar but its a soup and blogged it yest!! Great stew that is – I can vouch for that:)

  5. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    September 21, 2008 at 6:30pm

    fredie is so cute! how old is he? anyways ur recipe is good…luv chikpea a lot!

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    September 22, 2008 at 12:19pm

    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. : }

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    September 22, 2008 at 1:37pm

    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:)

  8. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    September 22, 2008 at 2:19pm

    this looks like such a delicious meal. i love chickpeas in stews and curries. love the pic of freddie as well.

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    September 22, 2008 at 2:49pm

    I’m always up for anything with chickpeas in it. Certainly looks good.
    Morrocan food has a lot in common with Indian food, flavour wise, I think.

  10. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    September 22, 2008 at 3:06pm

    Harissa, wonder whether I can get them in Malaysia. Time to check out the local stores.

  11. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    September 22, 2008 at 4:08pm

    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.

  12. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    September 22, 2008 at 8:41pm

    the stew looks so good & hearty, Vaishali! harissa, just the thing to spice it all up :)

  13. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 3, 2008 at 12:00am

    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.

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    October 3, 2008 at 2:32pm

    Richa, Thanks.

    Madhuram, So glad you tried the stew. I’ve been sick and lying low this past week, but you really made my day. Thanks!

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    October 27, 2008 at 5:52pm

    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.

  16. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 17, 2009 at 10:41pm

    Hi Vaishali,

    Can u tell me which red chillies are you mentioning? Can i use the red dry cillies?

  17. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 18, 2009 at 1:26am

    Shailly, yes, I mean the dry red chillies. Feel free to write if you have other questions.

  18. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    A Can-Baje in BIM

    April 4, 2011 at 6:20pm

    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!

  19. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    June 21, 2011 at 2:36pm

    Hi there. I wasn’t sure if the Harissa goes in the stew or it’s a dish on the side? The photo looks delicious!


  20. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    June 21, 2011 at 8:46pm

    Mark, you stir in the Harissa paste into the stew at the very end. Good luck!

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