One of my new year’s resolutions was to eat less meat and more vegetables, an intention that I’ve adhered to with mixed results.
Whilst meat certainly plays a less significant part on my plate these days, I still don’t eat enough exclusively vegetarian meals. It’s not so much the meat I miss but more the depth of flavour it lends to gravies and sauces. A really tasty vegetarian stew, for example, can be hard to find.
But this is one of those recipes that blows meaty meals out of the water. And if it gets my OH eating chickpeas then it must be good. It’s heavily adapted from a recipe in Yotam Ottolenghi’s Ottolenghi: The Cookbook and the genius is in braising the sweet potatoes in butter and honey first, which imparts a wonderful depth of flavour to the finished dish.
Seriously good served with flatbreads and/or couscous and a dollop of Greek yoghurt mixed with a little garlic, lemon juice and chopped fresh mint.
Moroccan chickpea and sweet potato stew
- 300g (or 1 large) sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
- 30g butter
- 2 tbsp clear honey
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tin of tomatoes
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- small handful of dried apricots (optional)
- 1 tin chickpeas
- 100g baby spinach
- 10g fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1. Put the diced sweet potato in a small pan with 500ml water, the butter and honey. Bring to the boil and simmer for 35-40 minutes until the potato is very soft and most of the liquid has evaporated.
2. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion with the coriander seeds until browned. Add the cumin and tomato puree and cook for a couple of minutes. Stir in the tinned tomatoes, sugar and apricots (if using) and simmer for 5 minutes then add the chickpeas and spinach and cook for 5 minutes more.
3. Add the sweet potatoes with any of their remaining liquid to the chickpeas and cook for 5 minutes. Season to taste and garnish with coriander. Serve with flatbreads and/or couscous and a dollop of Greek yoghurt mixed with a little garlic, lemon juice and chopped mint.