Eggplant, chickpea tajine.

Eggplant and Chickpea Tajine –Tajin Bil-Khodar

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.

Chickpea eggplant tajine with pearl couscous and dollop of Greek yogurt.

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.

  • Incredibly adaptable, allowing for the addition of poultry or meat.
  • Delivers amazing, rich flavors.
  • Genuinely plant-based, suitable for various dietary preferences.
  • Convenient one-pot meal, easily prepared in a Dutch oven, instant pot, or slow cooker.
  • Tajine clay pot serves as both a cooking vessel and a stylish presentation dish, enhancing overall appeal and ease of serving.

Grocery and Pantry List

Ingredients for making eggplant tajine.
  • Eggplant: Eggplants are the main stars of this dish. The meaty and plump eggplants are the best. You don’t need to peel the eggplants just cube them into chunks. The small strip of the skin will ensure that not all the pieces melt during cooking.
  • Chickpeas: You can use the canned chickpeas for convenience. Using dry beans is always an option. Make sure to pre-soak them a day before.
  • Pepper: Feel free to use sweet or hot peppers for this dish.
  • Onion: I prefer red to white or yellow onions because they pack more flavor. However, you can use any kind you have on hand.
  • Potato/Turnip: Both options come out good.
  • Olive: Even thought the olives are optional, they add a additional tanginess.
  • Tomatoes: their acidity breaks down slowly over time and sweetens the dish very nicely. Tomato paste helps thicken the sauce with a creamy consistency.
  • Harissa paste: Harissa gives the tajine dish it’s unique flavor. You can make your own harissa paste using this recipe.
  • Lemon: Preserved lemons are essential in Moroccan cuisine, providing freshness, salt, and depth. However, they are not as readily available so fresh lemons are always an option.
  • Aromatics and Spices: For this recipe I used cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, paprika, and cumin. This is mix essential for berber cuisine.
  • Salt: The amount of salt will depend on your preferences and dietary restrictions. I like to use pink Himalayan salt.
  • Oil: Using olive oil is always the best option. However, sometimes I will use a combination of grapeseed and olive oil.

Time Required:

  • 10 minutes: Prepare the vegetables
  • 10 minutes: Sauté and braise the vegetables
  • 45 minutes: Cook covered

Tajine Recipe Steps at a Glance

This tajine recipe can be broken down into the following steps:

  • Washing, chopping, and preparing vegetables
  • Cooking the stew

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.

Eggplant, chickpea tajine.
  • Dollop of Greek yogurt
  • Serve with couscous, rice or quinoa
  • Serve with flatbread
  • Squeeze fresh lemon

Tips and Wisdom from Cafe Osharak

  • Eggplants: You can peel the eggplants, but I choose to leave the peel on. The peel keeps the eggplant chunks intact (vs. disintegrating). The amount of eggplant will shrink in volume.
  • Chickpeas: Canned chickpeas are fine. Even though the canned chickpeas are cooked, if you add them right after the eggplants are softened and reduced in volume, they will absorb the flavors that the stew has already developed.
Bowl of chickpea and eggplant tajine.

More Recipes to Try From Cafe Osharak

If you try out this recipe, we would be delighted to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments below and let us know how it turned out for you. Your feedback is important to us, and we’re always excited to learn if you found the recipe delicious and straightforward to prepare. Additionally, if you have any creative variations or ideas to enhance the recipe, we welcome your suggestions. We appreciate your support and look forward to hearing from you!

More plant based recipes.

Armenian Summer Vegetable Stew in a clay baking dish.
Armenian Summer Vegetable Stew
Red Lentil Rolls.
Red Lentil Rolls
Pickled vegetables in a clay pot.
Pickled Vegetables

Eggplant and Chickpea Tajine

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.
Print Recipe
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Eggplant, chickpea tajine.
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:1 hour
Course
Main Course
Cuisine
Berber
|
Mediterranean
|
Moroccan
|
Tunisian

Ingredients

  • 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
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 tablespoon parsley chopped

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Step-by-Step Photos: My blog post includes helpful step-by-step photos to help guide you through making this recipe.
  • Eggplants: You can peel the eggplants, but I choose to leave the peel on. The peel keeps the eggplant chunks intact (vs. disintegrating). The amount of eggplant will shrink in volume.
  • Chickpeas: Canned chickpeas are fine. Even though the canned chickpeas are cooked, if you add them right after the eggplants are softened and reduced in volume, they will absorb the flavors that the stew has already developed.

Nutrition

Calories: 1184kcal | Carbohydrates: 235g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 707mg | Potassium: 5401mg | Fiber: 64g | Sugar: 67g | Vitamin A: 3531IU | Vitamin C: 237mg | Calcium: 375mg | Iron: 17mg
Servings: 4
Calories: 1184kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @osharak.cafe or tag #osharak.cafe!

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