Moroccan Eggplant Chickpea Tagine with Chermoula Sauce



Eggplant Tagine with Chermoula

Variation: Cooking in a tagine in Morocco


This is one of my favorite tagines. Tagine is a Moroccan dish. The dish is named Tagine and the clay pot its cooked in is also called tagine.

The special thing about the tagine is that you can layer all your ingredients in the clay pot and leave it to cook for 30-40 minutes unattended. The result is in between a soup and stew- perfect for dipping flatbread in!

You can also make this in a heavy pot with a lid partially covered. Just check to add liquid to keep it from drying out.

Enjoy this intense recipe (but its worth it!)


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Moroccan Eggplant Chickpea Tagine with Chermoula Sauce


Prep time: 20 minutes  Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (Serves 4): 

  • 1 extra- large eggplant (or two small), cut into 1 ½” pieces

  • 2 tsp. Salt

  • Bowl of water

  • 2-4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 1 green pepper, chopped into 1” pieces

  • 6-8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

  • 2 tsp. Ras el Hanout spice mix* (see recipe below)

  • 1 tsp. Ground Cumin

  • 1 tsp. Ground coriander

  • ¼ tsp. Cinnamon

  • 14-oz crushed tomato (San Marzano if possible)

  • 2-4 large Medjool dates, chopped

  • 1 cup water or vegetable broth

  • ¾ tsp. Salt

  • ½ tsp. Freshly cracked pepper

  • 1 ½ cups (1 can) cooked chickpeas, drained, rinsed


Suggested starch: couscous or flatbread, quinoa

Garnishes: 

  • ¼ cup yogurt (optional for garnish)

  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped (for garnish)

  • How to make Chermoula Sauce (optional)

  • Toasted almonds (for garnish)

  • serve with couscous or pita


Equipment:

  • Tagine, Large dutch oven, or ovenproof skillet with lid

  • Bowl

  • Strainer


Directions:

  1. Prep eggplant: Place cut eggplant into a large bowl of water with 2 tsp. Salt. Place a plate on top to keep the eggplant submerged in water. Leave for 20 minutes. Then, drain (don’t rinse). His takes away bitterness and prevents eggplant from absorbing too much oil. 

  2. You can choose to simmer tagine on the stove or use a dutch oven or cast iron pot and place it in the oven. If you place it in the oven, it will stay more moist. If using oven, preheat to 375 F. 

  3. Start by heating your dutch oven or tagine over the heat with 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Pan sear the eggplant until slightly golden brown. Then, remove eggplant to a side plate. In the same pan, saute the onions, bell pepper, and garlic for a couple minutes, or until tender.

  4. Add the remaining ingredients, including spices. Add the eggplant back in. Bring to a simmer, then cover. Simmer on the stovetop or place in oven for 25 minutes.The eggplant should be cooked when done. It will be like a stew. If it seems dry, add a little water.  While it’s cooking, make the couscous. 

  5. Top with parsley, olive oil or chermoula, toasted almonds and yogurt if desired. 










*Ras el Hanout


– an aromatic blend of spices used in Moroccan cooking to season tagines, meats, vegetables and stews.


Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon coriander

  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2  teaspoon ground white pepper

  • 1/2  teaspoon ground cardamom 

  • 1⁄2  teaspoon ground clove

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Mix all spices together and set aside until use for the tagine. 




Chermoula sauce: 

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled

  • 2 cups fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

  • 1 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped

  • 6 Tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice (about ½ lemon)

  • ½ teaspoon paprika

  • ½ teaspoon cumin

  • ¾ teaspoon salt



Make chermoula sauce by combining all sauce ingredients into a food processor or blender. Pulse until well combined but not too smooth.  Set aside. 


Keep in an air tight container for up to 4 days in the fridge.







For more recipes and stories, check out my new cookbook "Stories from Morocco: a food and travel memoir" now available through Kindle. 




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