Moroccan chickpea stew

Moroccan chickpea stew

moroccan chickpea stew

I’m sitting in front of a crackling fireplace at my parents’ house in Poland, as I write this. It’s been extremely cold around these parts lately and even though I obviously grew up here, after years of living in milder climates (London and now a Greek island of Paros) I am really not used to the cold anymore… And I moan about it a lot 😉 .

When it’s -15° C (5° F), you want to minimise the time you spend outside and, if you do venture out, you want to be moving fast. We’ve taken to running in a nearby forest to counteract my mum’s attempts at overfeeding us on a daily basis 😉 .

A proper Northern-European forest bathed in winter sunshine has been a much needed change of scenery. We even managed to get a glimpse of two does who ran for the hills as soon as our fluorescent running gear appeared on the horizon. Once you get your blood flowing outside, stepping back into a warm house and sitting down to a warm meal is all your need to feel happy.

My lovely mum treats us to our favourite Polish cold weather foods, such as barszcz with uszka (beetroot broth with wild mushroom ravioli), pierogi (dumplings) and a meat-free bigos (cabbage and wild mushroom stew) plus a layered gingerbread cake for dessert, but this Moroccan-inspired chickpea and tomato stew is also the kind of dish I would be happy to come back home to. It’s easy to make, filling and comforting and if you are a fan of my Spanish Chickpea and Spinach Stew I made last year, be sure to try this one out too.

As for the Polish dishes I mentioned, don’t despair. I’m picking my mum’s brain for recipes (although she tends to ‘eye-ball’ ingredients so it’s more of a challenge than it sounds 😉 ) and they will appear on the blog at some point, promise!

moroccan chickpea stew portion

moroccan chickpea stew pan

moroccan chickpea stew top down

moroccan chickpea stew plate

20 min
30 min
20 min
30 min
  • 2 tbsp / 30 ml oil (I used olive oil)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 5 cups peeled and diced tomatoes OR 2 x 400 g / 14 oz tins of tomatoes
  • 3 tsp baharat spice
  • ½ tsp sweet paprika
  • ¼-½ tsp cayenne pepper or hot chilli powder, adjust to taste
  • ¾ tsp salt, adjust to taste
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 medium sweet potato (300 g / 0.65 lb), cubed
  • 2 tbsp dried barberries or blackcurrants
  • 10 black Kalamata olives, pitted
  • a handful of almonds, sliced
  • fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
  • cooked couscous or quinoa, to serve with
  1. Chop almonds diagonally. Put a small frying pan on a medium heat and dry roast almonds until lightly browned and fragrant. Make sure you move them around the pan frequently as they burn easily.
  2. Heat up the oil in a large frying pan (ideally with a lid). Add chopped shallots and fry on a low heat until almost translucent, stirring from time to time.
  3. Add chopped garlic. Keep on stirring frequently until the onion is translucent and garlic softens completely and releases its beautiful aroma.
  4. Add all the ground spices to the fried shallots and garlic mixture and stir them around well. Fry them off gently for a minute or two stirring the whole time as they burn easily.
  5. Add tomato paste to the pan and stir it into the shallot and garlic mixture.
  6. Add chopped tomatoes, sweet potato cubes, salt and add half of the sugar to the pan. Cover the pan with a lid to cook chopped sweet potato. After about 12 minutes of simmering, take the lid off and let the sauce thicken by simmering it slowly, without the lid. Give the sauce a good stir from time to time.
  7. Once the sauce thickens, taste it and season with some black pepper and more sugar if needed.
  8. Finally, stir in cooked chickpeas, olives and currants and let them warm through. Serve over rice, quinoa or couscous, topped with toasted almonds and chopped parsley.

*If you cannot find baharat spice mix, make your own – according to Wikipedia, a typical recipe for baharat is a mixture of the following spices: 4 parts black pepper, 3 parts coriander seed, 3 parts cinnamon, 3 parts cloves, 4 parts cumin seeds, 1 part cardamom pods, 3 parts nutmeg and 6 parts paprika.

17 g
19 g
2 g
14 g
52 g
*per serving
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11 reviews, 25 comments
My husband made this - he used butternut pumpkin instead of sweet potato, but it was really really good. I had to chase him to give me he details so I can add it to our recipe collection. Leftovers were even better!
    Thanks Christine, I am really pleased to hear that this recipe was such a hit. Ania
Alyson Cheng:
This is delicious! I’ve made it so many times and everyone loves it.
    I'm so happy to hear that, Alyson! Thank you so much for your kind words and taking the time to leave this lovely review - I really appreciate it! x Ania
Amazing and very flavourful dish. I've made it many times and loved it every time!
    Thanks Aggie, I'm so happy to hear that you've enjoyed it so much! x Ania
I haven’t had much success with my husband with vegan meals but he really liked this one. I’ll definitely be making it again. Can you freeze it?
    I'm happy to hear that, Alyson. Yes, absolutely. It freezes well. x Ania
Paula Rothman:
there is no added broth?
    Hi Paula,
    No, it's not necessary but you can add it in (or water), of course. If your pan is getting too dry. Hope this helps! Ania
Neha and Pritesh:
This dish was divine! My husband has made this a few times and he also makes the Baharat spice at home. We really enjoy the flavours this dish bring out and will often eat it with quinoa. So healthy and delicious.
    Thank you, Neha! I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed and it must have been so much better with fresh, homemade spice mix. Ania
Tracey Broussard:
Hi. My name is Tracey and I'm a new blogger at
I love this recipe and am mentioning it in an upcoming post on chickpeas. I will include the link, but would also like to include one of your photos if that's okay with you.
Thanks for the great recipes.
Tracey Broussard
    Thanks Tracey! Sure, as long as you link out to my recipe instead of reposting it, I have no problem with that at all. Thanks for asking! Ania
Never felt the need to comment before at any site but this is awesome! I also added a cup of dried apricots at the end and half a lemon squeezed over to garnish...stunning :)
    Thanks so much for your kind words, Simon! I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed it so much. x Ania
Great recipe full of flavourful North African spices
    Thanks, Coco! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it! Ania
Hi there, could I use hing instead of the shallots & garlic when having guests that don't eat them do you think? Also could it be made in a tajine or slow cooker?
    Hi Lin,
    I suppose you can, but I've never used hing myself so not 100 % sure. I also don't own a tajine or slow cooker - I have fairly minimalist cooking equipment right now - so again, cannot advise with certainty. Sorry I can't be of help here. Ania
Simply fab!!
Everyone raved about it!
    Thanks so much, Chris - that's lovely to hear! Ania
Just made this for dinner, it was so yummy and satisfying! This recipe has flavors we don't usually cook with, but were so good. Everyone loved it!
    Thanks so much for your kind words, Paige! I'm really chuffed you liked it! Ania
Karin S.:
Hi Ania~ What kind o spice is baharat spice? I saw that you provided the link to make it; however, I'm wondering what store I would search for it in? Whole Foods, ethnic store? Thank you!
    Hi Karin,
    Depends where you live, but I was able to find it in a large supermarket in London. I imagine that Whole Foods or Middle Eastern stores should carry it also. Hope that helps! Ania
The betroot broth with wild mushroom ravioli sounds amazing. I hope that's one of the recipes you will offer in the future. This chickpea stew is definitely going in my "must make asap" folder. Thanks!
    Aw, thanks Karla. Yes, i will definitely do the beetroot broth + ravioli recipe as it's one of my favourite Polish dishes. Greetings! Ania
That looks lovely with those fat briney olives and sweet currants. I imagine I would pull it out for breakfast the next morning after all the flavors had gotten to know each other over night.
    Thanks, Johanne! Yes, it's one of these dishes that benefits from some resting time ;)
Hi there! Great recipe! Just wondering when to put in the seeet potato and kalamata olives? Thank you!
    Hi Ky,
    Sorry, I accidentally overwrote my recipe instructions before I published the recipe and did not notice it until now. I've amended the recipe now - hope it makes more sense now :) Ania
April Taylor:
The recipe says "........ Now add in the spinach and place the lid on to let spinach wilt ..." but spinach is not mentioned in the ingredients list.
How much spinach is required, please, and is it chopped or just small leaves - or what? I'd really appreciate knowing, thanks
    So sorry, April, I accidentally overwrote this recipe before I publishing so instructions weren't quite correct (this recipe features no spinach). I've amended the recipe now - hope it makes more sense now :) Ania
Did you leave out the instructions for sweet pots, almonds etc? Looks lovely but not sure about what to do with these ingredients.
    Hi Maggie,
    I'm so sorry, but I accidentally overwrote this recipe before I publishing so instructions weren't quite correct first time round. I've amended the recipe now - hope it makes more sense now :) Ania
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