This stew is a little more special than a winter vegetable stew. This is fragrant and tasty, with nice sweetness and a mixture of textures. It’s a good dish for a dinner party – served with couscous salad, quick-fried flat breads or parathas, and a side of hummus, you have a feast to impress friends and family for relatively little effort.
Serves: 4. Prep: 15 minutes. cooking time: 45 minutes.
Stores: In the fridge, 2-3 days. In the freezer, up to 3 months.
- Chopping board
- Potato peeler (optional)
- Tin opener
- Tablespoon measure, or tablespoon
- Teaspoon measure, or teaspoon
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 red onions
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 tin chickpeas
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 pinch dried chillies
- 1 tin tomatoes
- 1 tin-full water
- 5 dates (optional – they add a little thickness to the sauce, and a really nice background sweetness)
- Handful coriander, for serving (optional)
- Heat the oil in the pot.
- Roughly chop the onion and cook for about five minutes, until it starts softening.
- Peel the sweet potato and cut into 2 cm cubes.
- Add to the onions and fry for a few minutes. A little browning on the potato adds a really nice flavour.
- Drain the chickpeas and add to the pot. Stir.
- Add the spices and stir. Let cook for a couple of minutes at a low temperature to stop the spices from burning at the bottom of the pan.
- Add the tomatoes to the pot, fill up the tin with water from the tap and add that too.
- Finely chop the dates and add (if using).
- Stir. Cover with a lid and let cook for 30 minutes, or until the potato is completely soft.
- Smoke: Use chipotle and smoked paprika to add add a smokey note.
- Orange: Use other orange vegetables – both carrots and butternut squash works in this recipe.
- Stuff Morocco: Swap out the sweet potato and use any vegetables you like, and swap the spices for herbs to evoke the flavours of the other side of the Mediterranean.
- Fancy! Prick an aubergine with a fork several times, then put it in the oven at 200C for 45 minutes, or until soft. roughly chop into pieces and add to the stew. The aubergine adds texture and a rather lovely, mild flavour.