“Moroccan” Stew

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This morning the windchill was -9®C. Yesterday I drove home in light flurries. Cities just north of Toronto are waking up to inches of  the white stuff. It’s happening.
We are rapidly progressing into the season of blankets, wool slippers, hot chocolate…the obligatory small talk about how dark and cold it is outside. Oh, and stew. Or “bowl meals”, as Andrew calls them.

Now, having never been to Morocco, I cannot confirm the authenticity of this stew. However, it is supremely delicious with amazing fragrance. This meal is on our regular rotation during the cooler months…which is impressive considering I am constantly reading new recipes. You may be raising an eyebrow as you get down to the bottom of the ingredient list…but trust me. It all comes together to create an amazing winter dinner with, importantly, a low dish yield.

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon each: ground cumin, curry powder, ground coriander, chili powder
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes, with juices
1 can chickpeas, (low sodium, if available) drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced to about 1 inch cubes
Salt and pepper
½ cup raisins
3 tablespoons each peanut butter and chopped, fresh cilantro

Instructions
1. Heat oil in a large pot/dutch oven. Add onions, celery, green pepper and sauté for about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, spices, and fresh ginger. Cook until fragrant (less than 1 minute)
2. Add broth, tomatoes, chickpeas, lemon juice and sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are fork tender.
3. Stir in raisins, peanut butter, and cilantro. Make sure the peanut butter is fully incorporated. Serve hot, garnished with more cilantro if desired.

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Source: “Crazy Plates” – Janet and Greta Podleski page 74

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6 thoughts on ““Moroccan” Stew

  1. I loved Morocco and I really love Moroccan food, but… peanut butter in this recipe?

    I could eat Moroccan tagine/tajine every day, it is so tasty. (I also feel that way about Persian food, and would get my fix at the Pomegranate on College Street on a regular basis. It was my most frequented restaurant in Toronto! Try their sister restaurant next door for a more casual experience; they share the same kitchen.)

    But I think a major difference is the Moroccans cook their stews very slowly in these heavy clay pots, which makes everything more flavourful. They also use a lot of aubergine/eggplant, and the sweetness comes from what is more local to them like dates, figs, sultanas, etc. I’m not knocking the recipe at all, it’s probably the closest thing to Moroccan food in a colder climate. To cook like they do, you’d probably have to be in a place with a similar climate like Southern California where you can find the ingredients growing locally and not resorting to tin. (I have a bit of a thing against tin, I’ll only buy it if I have to; I’m sure it reacts to acidic food like tomatoes.)

    My vote is for you to go to Morocco and eat, eat, eat 🙂

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