Moroccan-inspired chickpea stew

Serves 6

I first made this on a chilly, rainy night – it’s mushy, spicy and hearty – a perfect stew for cold weather.

Moroccan-inspired chickpea stew

  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into rough chunks
  • 2 medium brinjals, chopped into rough chunks
  • 400g courgettes, chopped into large chunks
  • 800g tin (or 2x 400g tin) peeled chopped tomatoes
  • 3 400g tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
  • 3 cups of hot vegetable stock
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 100g dried apricots
  • 4 T sultanas
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 heaped tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 400g couscous
  • vegetable stock
  • juice of 2 oranges
  • zest of ½ an orange
  • 3 tablespoons of chopped parsley
  • ½ cup plain fat free or low fat yoghurt

Fry onion in a tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan. After a couple of minutes, add the garlic. Fry for a minute or two, then add in the spices. Get those going for about 3 minutes, and then chuck in your veggies, tomatoes and stock. Turn the heat up and bring to a boil, and then put the lid on and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Meanwhile, soak the apricots in some hot water for 10 minutes and chop them into rough pieces. Make the yoghurt sauce: combine the yoghurt with a dash each of paprika, cumin seeds and a light sprinkling of chilli flakes. Squeeze in about two teaspoons of lemon juice and mix in a tablespoon of chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

After 20 minutes of simmering, take the lid off the pot. Check the stew for consistency – if it’s too watery, turn the heat up. After about 5 minutes, add the apricots, sultanas, lemon juice and zest, and another ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Add chilli flakes according to taste.

When you take the lid off, start making the couscous. Make the couscous according to the packet instructions, adding orange juice to the veg stock. When the couscous is ready, fluff it with a fork and add the orange zest and parsley.

Serve the stew on top of the couscous, with a dollop of yoghurt.

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