A delicious and hearty Moroccan influenced chickpea stew with butternut squash and zucchini, served over lemony herb couscous with almonds.
Like I mentioned in my earlier Lemon Herb Couscous with Almond recipe, I just back from a vacation with plenty of good food and I felt like taking a little break from eating meat. Looking in my pantry I always have cans of chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) on hand, as I love making my own Hummus whenever I’m craving a snacking dip. So decided tho throw together a vegetable stew with chickpeas. To change things up a little I also planned on making couscous instead of the usual rice…and that’s how I thought incorporating Moroccan flavors to the stew.
Now, before you guys go off on how this isn’t traditional or authentic, I just wanted you to know that this is my interpretation of Moroccan influenced flavors and I didn’t have any recipe to go off of. I simply went with my gut, using my Indian cooking background (we also make lovely chickpea curries) but using a touch of Northern African/ Middle Eastern flavors like the cinnamon and sumac. It was delicious!
Teamed with my lemony parsley couscous with almonds it was a hearty not to mention nutritious meal that didn’t leave you craving meat at all. Here’s how you can make it…
- 1 can (15oz) chickpeas/garbanzo beans
- 3 fresh tomatoes/ 1 can (10z) can tomato puree
- 1 medium onion, grated
- 3 cloves of garlic, grated
- 1 cup butternut squash, diced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp (or 1/2 for less heat) chili paste
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp sugar (optional)
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 tsp sumac (optional)
- - If you want to use fresh tomatoes over a canned puree, first score an 'x' on the bottom of the tomatoes. Submerge them in a pot of water, cover it and bring to a rapid boil.
- - As soon as the tomatoes blister and the peel starts loosening off, turn the heat off, drain the water and allow them to cool before peeling and pureeing them in a blender/food processor.
- - To prep the vegetables, grate (or pulse in a food processor) one medium onion and the garlic cloves. Peel and dice about a cup of butternut squash and one zucchini (leaving the skin on the zucchini). And finely chop a generous handful of parsley.
- - Heat the olive oil in a deep pan, then add the grated onion and saute for 3-4 minutes until they turn soft and translucent. Then toss in the grated garlic and chili paste and saute the mix for another minute or so.
- - Add the paprika, cumin, coriander powder, oregano, thyme and cinnamon powder. Give it a quick stir!) to fry off the spices so they don't have that raw taste. (don't let it burn like mine...cos I was slow taking pictures
- - Pour in the tomato puree and mix everything well scraping any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
- - Season the mixture with salt and pepper according to your taste.
- - Next add in the butternut squash, chickpeas with the water and zucchini into the pot
- - Stir in 1 tbsp of sugar (optional), the juice of 1/4 of a lemon and pinch of the freshly cut parsley (reserving the other 1/4 lemon and parsley for a garnish). Cover and let the stew simmer on low for 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally until the butternut squash is tender and fork ready.
- - When you're ready to serve sprinkle in some sumac (a middle eastern dried and powdered berry that's tangy, similar to juniper berry), a squeeze of lemon juice and the remaining chopped parsley.
- - Serve hot over couscous or rice.
- You can garnish with feta and kalamata olives too!