| sweet potato and chickpea tagine

October 11, 2010

Sarah and I were rustling around in her pantry the other night, trying to find enough ingredients for some sort of dinner. She had sweet potatoes, chickpeas and cous cous – so as is usual when there are sweet potatoes lurking at the bottom of the box we decided to make a sweet potato tagine. This dinner really does come from nothing. It feels like it uses every spice in the cupboard, but the flavour that shines through is a beautiful earthy cinnamon. This time we served it with cous cous, but sometimes we have it with hunks of fried polenta to dip into the sauce.

The basis for the recipe comes from our friend Antonia who similarly made it from the contents of an empty pantry, at a beach house on the south coast of NSW. After a day of swimming and walking the hot track through sandy dunes to the beach, the tagine filled many hungry bellies. If you have a big enough pot, double the recipe and it will feed a long table of people. With some accoutrements – coriander, yoghurt, a salsa of minced lemon zest, or preserved lemons – the contents of an empty pantry can even look fancy.

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Tagine

3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion halved and finely sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted then ground in a mortar and pestle
1 tsp fennel seeds, toasted then ground in a mortar and pestle
1 tsp toasted and crushed cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground tumeric
3 medium sized sweet potatoes chopped into large bite sized pieces
1 tin chickpeas or chickpeas soaked over night
1 bottle of passata
1 cup vegetable stock

cous cous

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion until slightly transparent. Place all the spices in the pan and cook over a low heat until fragrant. Add the sweet potato and chickpeas and coat in your spicy onion mix. Place the entire bottle of passata in the saucepan and bring to the boil. Add one cup of hot stock and season to taste. Place a lid on the saucepan, slightly ajar so some steam can escape, turn the heat to medium, and cook until the sweet potato is tender. Make sure you stir occasionally so none sticks to the bottom of your pan. (As you can see we didn’t actually use a tagine, but by all means if you have one whip it out.)

Serve with cous cous, yoghurt, coriander and any other accoutrement you can rustle up.

Serves 6 or 4 very hungry.

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sweet potato and chickpea tagine: 6 comments

  1. Brea Says:

    I made this last night – we seemed to have just the right amount amount of everything in our cupboard. It was utterly delicious. xBrea

  2. ainslee Says:

    my boyfriend & i made this last night – it’s so delicious. we substituted grated ginger for the ground & needed to add more water after a little while but that was probably due to my excessively large bite-sized pieces of potato taking longer to cook than expected.

  3. Romy Says:

    Ainslee, yes, add some water if necessary!

  4. Olivia Says:

    Just about to make the cous cous to go with this: so far the aroma and taste from my wooden spoon are absolutely beyond incredible. Thank you!

  5. Anna Says:

    Thanks for this recipe which I made this week. We had it two nghts in a row. It was simple really tasty and delicious.
    ps the coriander is essential

  6. Ingrid Says:

    This was the recipe that brought me to Trotski & Ash when searching for recipes after moving into a houshold with a tagine. Three years later and it’s still a regular staple on our table – one of our favourite go-to meals.

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