Moroccan Vegetarian Carrot and Chickpea Tagine

Moroccan Vegetarian Tagine
Christine Benlafquih
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 3 to 4 servings
Yield: 1 tagine
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
268 Calories
13g Fat
34g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 268
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 16%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 909mg 40%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 12%
Dietary Fiber 8g 30%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 9mg 45%
Calcium 84mg 6%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 375mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Tagines are usually the main dish in Morocco, but this vegetarian version works equally well as a side to meat or poultry.

Chickpeas and carrots are stewed with piquant, aromatic seasonings including ginger, cinnamon, and the multi-spice know as ras el hanout. A touch of honey adds complementary sweetness.

When a recipe calls for chickpeas, the vast majority of Moroccans prefer to start with dried chickpeas rather than canned. If you want to follow suit, allow additional time for soaking the chickpeas overnight, then cooking until tender. This may be done well in advance, as it's perfectly fine to freeze cooked chickpeas until needed.

You have plenty of flexibility as to how to season the tagine. To add heat, throw in one or two chile peppers. For a sweeter presentation, increase the honey and include the optional raisins. Using half vegetable or chicken broth instead of all water will add depth of flavor, but be sure to watch the salt.

Although tagines are typically served with Moroccan bread for scooping everything up like a dip, you can break tradition and serve the chickpeas and carrots over a bed of rice or couscous.

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, or to taste

  • 1 teaspoon ginger

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1/8 teaspoon ras el hanout, or to taste, optional

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, or cilantro, plus more for optional garnish

  • 4 to 5 carrots, peeled, cut into 1/4-inch thick sticks

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 to 3 teaspoons honey, or to taste

  • 2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, drained

  • 1 or 2 small chile peppers, optional

  • 1/4 cup golden raisins, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In the base of a tagine or in a large skillet with a lid, sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil over medium-low heat for several minutes.

  3. Add the salt, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, cayenne pepper, ras el hanout, parsley or cilantro, carrots, and the water.

  4. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, then continue cooking, covered, until the carrots are nearly cooked to desired tenderness. In a skillet, this may take up to 25 minutes, in a tagine a bit longer.

  5. Stir in the honey and add the chickpeas and optional chile peppers and raisins. Continue simmering until the chickpeas are heated through and the sauce is reduced and thick.

  6. Taste, adjust seasoning if desired, and serve garnished with parsley or cilantro.

  7. Enjoy!

Tips

  • If cooking in a clay or ceramic tagine over a heat source other than gas, you'll need to use a diffuser between the burner and tagine.
  • Instead of cutting the carrots into sticks or planks, they may be sliced on the diagonal or into rounds. Be sure to remove the core if it's dry and woody. 
  • A tagine will double as your serving dish. When adding the carrots, arrange them in a pattern for a prettier presentation.
  • Harissa may be offered on the side as a condiment. Or, you can stir a little bit into the tagine in lieu of adding a chile pepper or cayenne pepper.