This harissa-spiked Moroccan stew with pumpkin and chickpeas packs a punch of spice. Fresh carrots and raisins add a true taste of Moroccan cuisine. And this Moroccan pumpkin stew is filled with protein.
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Moroccan Vegetarian Recipes
One of the things I love about Moroccan cuisine is how it is so easy to eat both vegetarian and vegan. When we traveled to Morocco we ate a good amount of chicken and lamb, but it was the salads and other vegan Moroccan recipes that really stood out.
Some of the most common ingredients we ate in Morocco were carrots and chickpeas. But I love cooking with pumpkin too. Most dishes in Morocco were seasoned with cumin and garlic for spice, often offset with cinnamon and raisins for sweetness.
This is why I love Moroccan cuisine. There is so much interaction between spicy and sweet.
Looking for other Moroccan stew recipes? Check out Loubia Recipe – Traditional Stewed Moroccan Beans.
Cooking With Pumpkin And Chickpea
Here’s where I got the idea for this stew. In Morocco, we ate a salad of batata hlouwa. In Moroccan Arabic, this translates to a salad of potato. It’s a local sweet potato, which I would consider more like a yam, mixed with honey, raisins, and cinnamon. It’s a sweeter salad, but very good.
I wanted to take the sweetness of this Moroccan salad (the raisins and cinnamon) and make it more protein-packed with chickpeas. Chickpeas are so common in Moroccan cuisine, this seemed like a natural pairing. Instead of sweet potatoes, I used pumpkin and carrots.
More Pumpkin And Chickpea Recipes
In addition to this Moroccan chickpea stew recipe, we also use some similar ingredients with totally different results in our recipe for Moroccan Pumpkin Soup With Chickpeas.
Or, check out our other recipes with chickpeas:
What Is Harissa Chili Paste
Harissa is a chili paste that is popular in Northern Africa cuisine. It’s normally made with a mix of chili peppers, cumin, and coriander. We fell in love with the flavor of harissa when traveling in Morocco.
Moroccan cuisine is not generally spicy, but harissa is served on the side of a lot of dishes allowing diners to add their own spice. I like to cook with harissa because we like spicy food and the harissa adds a depth of flavor that you can’t get from just adding fresh peppers.
It’s becoming a lot more common to find harissa at grocery stores in the US and in the UK. Look for it in the international food aisle. It can be found in both a tube or a jar. I look for jarred harissa, which looks almost like red pesto. I used Mina Spicy Harissa for this recipe, which you can buy on Amazon here.
Like harissa? Check out this Harissa Vegetarian Moroccan Lentil Stew Recipe
Moroccan Pumpkin Stew Ingredients
The base for this stew is a good quality olive oil. Morocco is actually known for olives and even produces some fabulous olive oil.
Mina makes a great cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil. You can purchase Moroccan olive oil on Amazon here. It’s a great olive oil to use not only for Moroccan recipes but for other Mediterranean bean recipes.
Like cooking with pumpkin? Check out this Sweet And Savory Beef, Black Bean, and Pumpkin Chili recipe.
Seasoning And Spices
Add a shallot, garlic cloves, ginger, and coriander stems to the warmed olive oil. I like grating my ginger so that there are no big chunks of ginger in the stew but you get all of the flavor. I use a cheese grater on the fine side.
I usually prefer to use a quality garlic press for the garlic so it blends into the Moroccan stew recipe without leaving big chunks.
Whenever I use coriander in a Moroccan or an Indian recipe, I like to add some diced coriander stems at the beginning of the recipe. This is a great way to add the taste of coriander into the stew without wilting coriander leaves.
As for spices, I include cinnamon for the sweetness, sweet paprika for the color and spice, and cumin, which I add to so many recipes. Cumin adds an earthy and nutty depth of flavor to recipes.
Then, the key spice is, of course, harissa, which adds a bit of a kick to this chickpea and pumpkin stew recipe. It’s also what makes it uniquely Moroccan in its flavor.
Vegetables For The Stew
Now come all the great vegetables, including pumpkin, carrots, and chickpeas. Drain the chickpeas but don’t rinse them. This gives some extra thickness and starchiness to the stew. The pumpkin and carrots should both be cut into bite-sized pieces, with the pumpkin a little larger.
I love cooking with chicken broth but to make a vegan stew, use vegetable stock, which adds more flavor than just using water. If you are not a vegetarian and have chicken broth at home, it can be used with no problems.
To Finish Off The Stew
Just before finishing, add some raisins for sweetness, which offsets the spiciness of the stew. Then, just before serving, fold in some freshly chopped coriander to finish the dish off.
If you are not a vegan, then top the stew with a dollop of Greek yogurt. The coolness of the yogurt perfectly offsets the spiciness of the harissa.
How To Make A Moroccan Stew With Chickpeas And Pumpkin
Warm a medium-sized dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to the pan once warm. Once the olive oil is warm, add the shallot, garlic, ginger, and coriander stems.
Saute until the onions soften and start to yellow, about 2-3 minutes. Don’t let the garlic brown. Then, add the spices, which include cinnamon, cumin, and paprika.
Adding the spices into the olive oil before the vegetables helps to infuse the oil with the flavor and aroma of the spices. Just be ready for the next few steps (veggies and stock) to ensure the oil and spices don’t stick or burn.
As soon as the spices are coated, add the pumpkin, carrots, and drained chickpeas. Stir to coat the vegetables in the seasoning. Add the harissa. Add the vegetable stock, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a slight boil.
Reduce the heat to simmer. Cook about 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Be sure to check on the stew periodically to ensure it doesn’t burn. If it starts to get too dry, add a bit more vegetable broth. There should be a little broth left in the stew at the end.
Cook the stew until the pumpkin and carrot are soft and most of the liquid is absorbed. Test them with a fork, which should pass easily through.
Adjust any seasoning as needed. Stir in the raisins and fresh cilantro, reserving a bit of cilantro for garnish. Serve in a bowl with fresh pita bread or over white rice.
Tips For Cooking This Moroccan Chickpea Stew Recipe
Here are just a few more tips for this vegetarian chickpea stew.
The pumpkin and carrots should both be cut into bite-sized pieces, with the pumpkin a little larger. The pumpkin will cook quicker than the carrot, so this ensures the pumpkin won’t be too soft in the resulting pumpkin stew.
For a little added acid, you can also add a squeeze of tomato paste or a few fresh tomatoes to the stew.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
- 1 tablespoon diced coriander stems
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 cups pumpkin, cubed into about 1 inch pieces
- 1 large carrot, diced into bite-sized pieces
- 1 15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained but not rinsed
- 1 tablespoon harissa
- 2 cups vegetable stock or broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ cup roughly chopped coriander
- Add olive oil to a warmed medium-sized dutch oven or large saucepan.
- Once the olive oil is warm, add onion, garlic, ginger, and coriander stems. Saute until the onions soften and start to yellow.
- Add the spices, including cinnamon, cumin, and paprika. Coat the seasoning in the olive oil to release the aroma and flavors of the spices.
- Add the pumpkin, carrots, and drained chickpeas. Stir to coat the vegetables in the seasoning.
- Add the harissa. Add the vegetable stock, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring to a slight boil. Reduce the heat to simmer. Cook about 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the carrot starts to soften and the liquid starts to absorb. Test it with a fork, which should pass easily through.
- Adjust any seasoning as needed. Stir in the raisins and fresh cilantro, reserving a few bits of cilantro for garnish.
- Serve in a bowl with fresh pita bread or over white rice. Add a dollop of Greek yogurt.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 374Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 578mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 15gSugar: 16gProtein: 14g
This nutritional data is provided by a third-party source and should not be relied on if you are on a strict diet.