Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Moroccan Vegetarian Stew

Hello friends! How are you? I'm sharing another Moroccan stew with you. This recipe is one of my favorites.  

I love making Moroccan stews in winter. My husband and I live two miles from the Atlantic Ocean, on the North Shore of Boston. When the cold wind whips the salty sea air, this stew makes us feel cozy. If a blizzard is in full effect I play some Van Morrison, putter in my kitchen, enjoying the snow-globe-view from my window and the warm aromas from the simmering stew. Vegetarian stews comfort us with their wholesome and healthy nutrition.

I'm half Lebanese, which means the spices common to Moroccan cooking are familiar to me. I grew up with these same spices and aromas coming from my grandmother's tiny, yellow Brooklyn apartment kitchen.

I veer off from traditional Moroccan stews here by adding some fresh dill and peas. These two ingredients are common to Persian cuisine, but they work really well here too. There are lots of wonderful ways to finish this stew. Sometimes I serve it with pitted olives and a dollop of thick, lightly salted Greek yogurt. This vegetarian stew is quite filling on its own. If you serve it with rice, you'll have a complete vegetarian protein.

Baking potatoes make this meal substantial. Their starch gives the stew a richer and creamier texture. Medjool dates melt into the stew, lending their sweetness to counter the spice. Saffron gives the stew an exotic flavor. Smoked paprika is lovely here too. A pinch of red chili flakes provides the heat. If you love spicy food, add more chili flakes. I like using scallions in this recipe because they're easy to chop. But a chopped onion will work in place of the scallions. I often cook the stew in the morning and reheat it for lunch or dinner.

Moroccan Vegetarian Stew Recipe   

Serves 4-6


  • A bunch of scallions (about 6-8) chopped. You can swap the scallions for a chopped onion too.
  • 3 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 3 celery stalks chopped
  • 1-2 garlic coves, minced or pressed in a garlic press or grated on a microplane zester
  • 2 baking or russet potatoes peeled and chopped 
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas (optional)
  • 4 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1 15-16 ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • 4 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 4 teaspoons of smoked paprika 
  • A pinch of red chili flakes or to your taste 
  • A pinch of saffron (optional but very good)
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Salt to taste. I use sea salt.

Serving Suggestions:
pitted olives
fresh herbs such as dill or parsley
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or lemon-infused olive oil
squeeze of fresh lemon or lime
Greek yogurt, labneh, lite sour cream or regular sour cream
fried eggs


Preheat the oven to 375

Meanwhile, in a dutch oven, saute the scallions, carrots and celery on medium heat with some olive oil and a pinch of salt. Saute the vegetables until they're starting to soften. Add the baking potatoes, chickpeas, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, saffron and red chili flakes. Stir the ingredients and spices around for about a minute, being careful not to burn the spices. Add the tomato sauce with two cups of water. Stir in the garlic and the dates. Adjust the salt, cover the pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer the stew on the stovetop for about 10 minutes. Transfer to the stew to the preheated oven and cook for thirty minutes. Five minutes before the stew is done, stir in the frozen peas (if using). Serve the stew with any of the above suggestions.

Bon Appetit & Blessings!
xx ~ Jilly     


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