Spicy and rich, this is the ultimate in meat-free comfort food.  In fact, this dish was so tasty and filling that Dave didn’t even want any of the leftover grilled chicken breast that I offered to appease my ‘meatitarian’.  Don’t skip the Harissa paste, it really makes the dish an explosion of flavor!

Serves 4



  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons each ground cinnamon, ground coriander, ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (can substitute regular or hungarian)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small butternut squash, seeds removed, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cans (14 ounces each) chickpeas
  • 2 cans (14 ounces each) diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Harissa paste (more or less depending on desired level of spice)
  • 2 cups of water
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Fresh mint, chopped

Apricot Rice

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup white or brown rice
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, snipped in half


For Stew

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium to large sized dutch oven over medium-high heat until it shimmers
  2. Add onion and carrots and sauté until onion becomes translucent (6 minutes)
  3. Add garlic and spices and sauté for 2-3 minutes stirring constantly so spices don’t burn
  4. Stir in chickpeas, tomatoes and tomato paste stirring well to coat then add water and bring to a boil
  5. Reduce heat medium-low and gently simmer for at least 45 minutes tightly covered, stirring only 2 or 3 times (to keep the flavors in)
  6. Remove from heat, add salt and pepper to taste and allow to stand for 15 minutes for flavors to meld
  7. Ladle into serving bowls along side rice an sprinkle with chopped mint

Adapted from: http://kelliesfoodtoglow.com/2012/11/27/tunisian-chickpea-and-vegetable-tagine/

For Apricot Rice

  1. While stew is cooking bring remaining water to boil along with table salt, then add rice and apricots
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover tightly and simmer for 15 minutes stirring once or twice
  3. Continue to simmer, covered, over medium-low heat until water is absorbed and rice is tender


KT’s Comments

  • The spices made the kitchen smell really good for two days
  • You could substitute any rood vegetables you like
  • The Harissa paste makes a big difference, packs a kick so taste before you add more
  • Really good left over so make lots of rice