This is one of my favorite recipes, so I’m surprised I hadn’t already posted it here. It has everything I like best in a recipe: it’s cheap, quick, colorful, healthy, and delicious. It’s made from things I can keep in our pantry, so I can put it together anytime I need.
It’s also part of a cuisine I haven’t explored fully yet, so it gives me an excuse to keep trying more things but allows me to always have something in the menu I can fall back on. It’s definitely vegetarian friendly: if I switched agave nectar for honey, it would work for vegans too.
The spices should be available in most spice sections, definitely in Mexican spice racks. Only the rose water is uniquely Middle Eastern and it’s not essential to the dish. The only problem I’ve had with this recipe is anticipating how spicy I’m making it – especially since my current chili powder is from India instead of Mexico and usually is more than most of us can handle.
The spice was not a problem for the people at our dinner table on Sunday, though you can feel free to reduce the quantity without ending up with a bland dish, given all the other ingredients.
Spicy Carrot and Chickpea Tagine
- 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 3-4 carrots, sliced on the diagonal
- 1 28 oz. can chickpeas, thoroughly rinsed and drained
- sea salt
- 1-2 Tbsp. Rosewater
- cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve
Heat oil in a tagine or wide, heavy saucepan, add the onion and garlic and saute until soft. (Great time to pull out a food processor, just rinse it quickly to avoid the onion gas in the air). When the onion is soft, add the turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, pepper, honey, and carrots. Pour in enough water to cover the base of the tagging and cover with a lid. Cook gently for 10-16 minutes.
Toss in the chickpeas, check that there is still enough liquid at the base of the tagging, cover with the lid and cook gently another 5-10 minutes. Season with salt, sprinkle with rosewater and cilantro and serve with lemon wedges.
Note: the photos show a doubled quantity, since we had extra guests at the table.
Tip: It’s also delicious as a “sandwich filling” in pita pockets with a bit of plain yogurt as a sauce.