This Moroccan-inspired Eggplant and Chickpea Tajine stew is a soul-warming dish that your family would love. It’s magical when you open the conical-shaped lid and see cubed eggplants, humble potatoes, and turnips harmonize in the pot. The creamy texture of eggplants, along with plump chickpeas, marries with a flavorful blend of harissa paste and spices, creating a thick, aromatic sauce. Perfectly paired with rice and couscous.
Chronicles of Tajine
The Tajine, a distinctive earthenware casserole and a slow-braising dish, is a staple in North African cooking. Tajine is a perfect vessel for making delicious stews of vegetables, fish, or meat. The cone-shaped lid, with a small opening, helps air circulate, ensuring tender and flavorful results. During long, low-heat cooking, some moisture evaporates through the small opening, at the same time trapping the flavor. The concentrated flavor droplets fall back into the dish intensifying the flavor. This process, creates a rich and aromatic final dish.
What’s unique about this Recipe?
This warmly spiced vegetarian stew is a slow-cooked flavor-rich dish that is one of my family favorites.
Grocery and Pantry List
Tajine Recipe Steps at a Glance
This tajine recipe can be broken down into the following steps:
How to Make Step by Step
Step 1 Preparing the vegetables
Finely dice the onions. Cube the potatoes and turnips. Cut the eggplants into rounds and cube them into big 2 inch (5 cm) chunks.
If you are using dry chickpeas see on how to soak in this hummus article. However, you can use the canned chickpeas for convenience. Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
Step 2 Cooking the stew
Add the olive oil to the tajine pan. Sauté the diced onions until translucent. Add cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and let them bloom in the oil and onion mixture.
Add pepper and diced potatoes. Sauté for a few minutes until the potatoes are coated with the onion and spice mixture.
Make a small area in the middle of the pan. Add ginger and garlic, give them a few minute to saute then add harissa paste.
Introduce the eggplants give them a toss and add a cup of liquid (water, vegetable or chicken broth). Close the lid and let all the vegetables braise for 10 minutes.
It will noticeably shrink. Give it a good stir then nestle the chickpeas, olive, and tomato. Season with salt and pepper. Add lemon zest (or preserved lemons if using) and herbs. Close the lid and continue braising in low heat for 45 minutes.
Best Way to Serve
Serve this warmly spiced Moroccan stew with the family from the tajine.
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Eggplant and Chickpea Tajine
- 1 onion diced
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 inch ginger minced
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 bell pepper diced
- 2 potato diced
- 1 teaspoon harissa
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 2 eggplants big chunks
- 1 cup water
- 1-2 tomatoes sliced
- 1 1/2 cups chickpeas
- ¼ cup olives
- 1 lemon zest
- 2 tablespoon parsley chopped
- Heat the tajine over medium heat, adding 1 tbsp of olive oil. Sauté diced onions until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.1 onion
- Season the tajine with spices, allowing them to bloom in the oil.1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Add peppers, diced potatoes, and turnips, stirring to coat with the onion spice mixture.1 bell pepper, 2 potato
- Create an opening in the center, adding minced garlic and ginger, followed by harissa paste. Cook for 2 minutes until aromatic.1 inch ginger, 1 teaspoon harissa, 1 garlic clove
- Introduce eggplants, season with salt, and pour in ½ cup of water. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes; eggplants will visibly shrink.2 eggplants, 1 cup water
- Gently toss everything, nestle chickpeas, olives, and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Add zest of a lemon and half of the parsley.1-2 tomatoes, 1 1/2 cups chickpeas, ¼ cup olives, 1 lemon, salt, pepper, 2 tablespoon parsley
- Close the lid and braise on low heat for 45 minutes, allowing flavors to meld. Add the rest of the chopped parsley.