Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Okra Chickpea Tagine

Traditional Moroccan Okra Chickpea Tagine. This quick and easy okra and chickpea stew tagine is full of Moroccan flavors. The name “tagine” refers to the two-part, cone-shaped casserole dish in which countless slow-cooked Moroccan dishes are prepared. You don’t need to prepare this in a tagine dish, it works well in a large saucepan, but if you have one, here’s a chance to use it.
Ingredients - Okra Chickpea Tagine:
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen okra, stem ends trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 10 sprigs fresh cilantro, plus more leaves for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 plum tomatoes, diced, or 1 cup drained canned diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon harissa or hot sauce, or to taste
Preparation - Okra Chickpea Tagine:
  • Place a large bowl of ice water next to the stove. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add okra and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the okra with a slotted spoon to the ice water. Drain.
  • Tie cilantro sprigs together with kitchen string.
  • Heat oil in a tagine dish set over a heat diffuser or a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper. Cook, stirring, until soft, 2 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
  • Add onion, garlic, ginger and pepper to the pan. Cook, stirring, until the onion is soft, 3 to 6 minutes. Mix in tomatoes, broth, cumin, the okra, cilantro sprigs and half the bell pepper. Reduce heat to medium; partially cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the okra is soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in chickpeas and salt; cook for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat; discard the cilantro sprigs. Stir in harissa (or hot sauce). Serve sprinkled with the remaining bell pepper and cilantro leaves, if desired.
Serves 6

Tip: Harissa is a fiery Tunisian chile paste commonly used in North African cooking. Harissa in a tube will be much hotter than that in a jar. You can substitute Chinese or Thai chile-garlic sauce for it.

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