Chickpea Tagine


Christine Manfield drew from her travels to plan the menu at her Universal Restaurant in Sydney; she created this fragrant stew after a trip to Morocco's High Atlas Mountains. More Healthy Vegetable Dishes

Chickpea Tagine
Photo: © Quentin Bacon
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 40 mins


  • 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained

  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads

  • 1 quart plus 2 tablespoons water

  • 1 large onion, finely diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • One 3-inch cinnamon stick

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1/2 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice

  • 2 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice

  • One 14.5 ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped

  • Salt

  • 2 small zucchini, diced

  • 1 tablespoon minced preserved lemon rind

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves

  • Yogurt and harissa, for serving


  1. In a saucepan, cover the chickpeas with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until tender, 45 minutes. Drain.

  2. In a bowl, crumble the saffron in the 2 tablespoons of water; steep for 10 minutes.

  3. In a deep skillet, cook the onion and gar­lic in the butter and oil over moderate heat until golden, 8 minutes. Add the cumin, cin­namon stick and crushed red pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Add the saffron water, chickpeas, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, the quart of water and a large pinch of salt; bring to a boil, then simmer until the squash and potatoes are tender, 30 minutes.

  4. Add the zucchini and the preserved lemon; simmer until the zucchini is tender, 5 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick. Season the tagine with salt and pepper and stir in the cilantro. Serve in bowls with yogurt and harissa.

Suggested Pairing

Crisp Chenin Blanc, such as one from California's Clarksburg region.

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