I am updating a recipe I posted many years ago on this blog, for a flavorful and delicious -- and incredibly healthy -- Moroccan Chickpea Stew.
I wanted to make this version without any oil, including the harissa that gets stirred into the stew at the end, and usually is blended with oil. The recipe I have for you today, then, is a healthier version of an already healthy recipe.
I have been sharing more oil-free recipes of late, and that's mostly because I've been trying to eat that way myself. This is not a new concept for me: I worked for years at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine which preaches oil-free cooking, and although I did see and taste a lot of great oil-free food in those days, and experimented with it quite a bit in my own kitchen, I never became a total convert.
And while I am not giving up fat completely now, I have to say that eating oil-free for the most part these last couple of weeks has really been quite wonderful. I definitely feel better and lighter, and I can't think of one good reason why I didn't do this earlier.
On to this oil-free version of my vegan 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 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 use a number of veggies in this stew, including zucchini, carrots, bell peppers, and onions, finishing up with a garnish of leafy spring onions. It makes for a complete meal by itself, or with some couscous, bulgur, rice or polenta.
There are few ingredients in this recipe, so it's crucial you don't skip them. Especially the harissa which adds tons of flavor and really isn't anywhere near as spicy as you'd think it would be.
Whip up this vegan Moroccan Chickpea Stew over the weekend. It's a keeper. And if you want an even quicker version of this recipe that uses no added oil, check out my Instant Pot version of Vegan Moroccan Chickpea Stew.
Vegan Moroccan Chickpea Stew
- 4 cups chickpeas (cooked or canned)
- 2-3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 large onion (finely diced)
- 5 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 tbsp ginger (grated or crushed)
- 2 potatoes (diced, use red or yellow)
- 2 carrots (finely diced)
- 5 plum tomatoes (quartered. Or use cherry tomatoes, halved, about 20)
- 2 medium zucchini (finely diced)
- 1 green pepper (finely diced)
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 2 tbsp thyme (remove leaves from tough stems and run a knife through them)
- 3 scallions (finely chopped)
- 2 tbsp parsley
For the harissa paste:
- 4 dry red chili peppers (soaked for about 2 hours and then drained. Use guajillo or Kashmiri chilies for moderate heat, ancho for more)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- ¼ cup vegetable stock
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- Make the harissa paste by roasting the chilies on a dry skillet until they darken slightly. Add the coriander and cumin and garlic and stir until the seeds start to turn color and smell fragrant.
- Place all the harissa ingredients in a blender and process until fairly smooth.
- In a large saucepan, heat 1 tbsp of vegetable stock and add the onions, garlic, and ginger.
- Saute until the onion gets soft, about 4-5 minutes. Add a tablespoon more of the stock if the pan gets too dry.
- Add the chickpeas and about 2 cups of liquid. Add tomatoes, coriander-cumin powder, potatoes, turmeric and salt to taste.
- Cover and cook about 20 minutes.
- Add the thyme, carrots, zucchini and green peppers. Cook another 10 minutes until all the vegetables are tender.
- Check salt. Stir in the harissa paste, a tablespoon at a time, until you get the heat you desire. Store any remaining paste in an airtight jar for a week, or freeze for longer shelf life.
- Garnish the stew with parsley and chopped scallions. Serve hot.
Although my beloved Freddie is with us no more, I couldn't get myself to take down this photograph that I had shared in the original post, of Freddie out for a leisurely morning walk. He was around 17 years old at the time, and loved to walk really, really slow, taking his time to sniff every calling card he found along the way. 🙂