Eggplant Tagine with Couscous

A Moroccan tagine that is comforting with plenty of protein from the chickpeas. The beautiful mix of spices transports you to an exotic Marrakesh market.
By Jill Nammar

moroccan-eggplant-stew

This stew is a good one, especially in the late summer when eggplants are bursting from farmers’ markets. When selecting eggplants, always pick ones that are very firm and shiny, free of brown spots, soft spots and blemishes.

For this recipe, I use five-inch eggplants, no peeling or salting is necessary. If you can only find large ones, you may want to peel some of their skin off in strips with a vegetable peeler before chopping. Fresh eggplants are the key ingredient here. The bitterness in some eggplants comes from being over-mature. So remember to buy firm eggplants. Look for green leaves at the stem too.

This Moroccan tagine is healthy and comforting. Chickpeas give it substance and protein. Saffron, ginger and a mix of spices transport you to an exotic Marrakesh market. A dollop of creme fraiche is always welcome on top when served.

You can add a little lemon zest and some chopped scallions to plain couscous and serve it with this tagine. It reheats well for lunches or workweek dinners.

Eggplant Tagine with Couscous
 
A Moroccan tagine that is comforting with plenty of protein from the chickpeas. The beautiful mix of spices transports you to an exotic Marrakesh market.
Author:
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Moroccan
Ingredients
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 3 small five inch eggplants, chopped (about 9-10 cups of chopped eggplant)
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped. I use green
  • 1 garlic clove, minced using a garlic press or a microplane zester
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced (optional)
  • 1-1/2 cups of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 Rapunzel No Salt Vegetable Bouillon cubes (see notes)
  • 1 16-ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • A small pinch of saffron (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon of harissa (optional, see notes for explanation)
  • Drizzle of honey or pinch of sugar to balance the acid in the tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon of dried mint
  • ½ tablespoon chickpea flour mixed with ½ tablespoon of cold water to thicken the tagine (optional, see notes)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil and butter for cooking2 large onions, chopped
  • 3 small five inch eggplants, chopped (about 9-10 cups of chopped eggplant)
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped. I use green
  • 1 garlic clove, minced using a garlic press or a microplane zester
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced (optional)
  • 1-1/2 cups of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 No Salt Vegetable Bouillon cubes (water or vegetable broth may also be used)
  • 1 16-ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • A small pinch of saffron (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon of harissa (optional, see notes for explanation)
  • Drizzle of honey or pinch of sugar to balance the acid in the tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon of dried mint
  • ½ tablespoon chickpea flour mixed with ½ tablespoon of cold water to thicken the tagine (optional, see notes)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil and butter for cooking
  • Serving Suggestions: Dollop of creme fraiche, Greek yogurt or sour cream. Couscous, bulgur wheat, quinoa, rice, pita, chapati, roti, naan, fresh chopped, scallions, chives, mint or parsley, olives, crumbled feta
Instructions
  1. Saute the onion and bell pepper in some olive oil and/or butter with salt and pepper until soft. Add the garlic, ginger, crushed tomatoes, water, bouillon cubes, chickpeas, cumin, cinnamon, paprika, saffron, harissa and honey. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the chopped eggplant.
  2. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 15-20 minutes or until the eggplant is tender. Add the dried mint and adjust seasonings. To thicken the tagine, mix the chickpea flour with equal parts cold water. Stir this mixture into the stew and simmer for an additional minute.
 

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