Moroccan Carrot and Chickpea Stew (Vegan)

December 18, 2014
Missed previous posts in this series? Here are days one, two, three, four, and five.

I've been wracking my brain trying to think of a good main dish recipe for this series. I had originally thought to make bean and lentil balls with cranberry sauce, but then saw this recipe from Oh She Glows, which was very similar to what I had been planning. Last week, when I had next to nothing in the house, I made this stew with some bottom of the bin vegetables. Graham said it was the best I've ever made. Moroccan food can be festive too, right?

The stew only needs five main ingredients. Seriously. There are more spices than veggies. Carrots make up the bulk of it, but you can substitute whatever you have on hand, especially if it's a root vegetable. It's a great recipe to clean out your cupboards or if you feel like you don't have anything in the house. These are pantry basics for me - carrots, onions, garlic, come kind of legume, and canned tomatoes.

Because there are so few ingredients, you really need to use the best you can get your hands on. Good quality tomatoes are particularly important. I used some that I canned in the summer, but a good option would be something like Eden Organics. It makes a huge difference. I measured out all the spices because the taste can change drastically with little differences in spice, but you can change them to suit your tastes. I want to call this quick and easy, but it's more easy than quick. It only takes a few minutes to throw together but it needs at least an hour and half to cook down.

Oh man, on that note, I noticed today that all my apple preserves from the summer went bad. Dozens of jars of applesauce and apple butter went mouldy inside. They were still sealed, but no longer safe. Apparently it was because I used windfall apples and they need significantly more acid. I needed to add a lot more lemon juice. It was shitty though, to open a jar and see mould. So much food, time, and work is going to be dumped in the toilet. I've been canning for years and never had problems before, but using different ingredients resulted in a lot of waste. If nothing else, this was a good lesson. Do your research before canning!

I'm so happy to have some more of my pottery again to use in photos.

2 smallish onions, diced (about 1 cup)
3-4 large carrots, peeled* sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
Large (796 ml) can whole tomatoes
1 can chickpeas (540 ml), drained and rinsed well*
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt*
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pepper to taste*

Heat a large pan over low-medium heat with some oil. I use coconut oil.

Add the onions first and cook them down for a couple of minutes or until it starts to turn translucent. Carrots go in next. Cook them for another couple of minutes or until you can see them start to sweat a little bit. Add the garlic and cook for just another 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes to the pan with a little bit of extra water. Use just enough water to get the extra tomato bits from your jar and pour that into the pan. The tomatoes will fall apart during the long cooking time, so don't worry about trying to break them apart. Finally, add the chickpeas.

Cook it down for half an hour before adding the cumin, salt, paprika, cinnamon, cayenne, and pepper. Simmer over low heat for an hour (or longer, if you have time). This is an important step. If you don't cook it down with the spices it's likely to be bitter and it won't have the depth of flavour you're looking for. It makes a huge difference.

Serve hot with sour cream if you're not vegan, and your favourite vegan substitute if you are.

1. If your carrots are organic, a good scrub is fine. Don't bother peeling them.
2. Soaking your chickpeas for a few minutes after rinsing them will help pull out some of the salt. Just rinse them again after soaking.
3. I used the full 1 teaspoon of salt.
4. I have a pepper mill so I'm not sure what it measures out to. I used 10 twists if that helps.

Does any one else watch The 100? I just saw this week's episode and I can't believe how it ended. I'm hoping it was all a trick.
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