Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Moroccan-Style Vegetable Stew

This afternoon I paid a visit to my favorite produce stand* and picked up a bag of what I call "eat them today" vegetables. Here is what I got for my 89 cents:

3 small bell peppers
1 large onion (with a soft spot)
3 small sweet potatoes
1 pattypan squash
2 cucumbers
1 jicama

Immediately I thought of a spicy vegetable stew. Here is my version, adapted from "Vegetable Bean Stew with Couscous" from Sunset's Vegetarian Favorites.

Moroccan-Style Vegetable Stew

1. Heat 1/2 cup vegetable oil in a large sturdy pot (at least 5 quarts) over medium heat

2. Add the following ingredients:
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large bell peppers, chopped
    It's prettiest if you use two different color peppers. For tonight's dinner, I just used the three small peppers.
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced (or pressed)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 0-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, depending on your taste and the heat in your cayenne
    I used about 2 teaspoons, and it wasn't burn-your-mouth hot.
Cook until onion is soft (about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally.

3. Add 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. I used the three small sweet potatoes.
Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

4. Add the following:
  • 1 15-oz can of diced tomatoes (with juice)
  • 1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt to taste (err on the side of too little)
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes.

5. Add 1 medium zucchini or other summer squash, chopped . I used the patty pan.
Cover, and cook about 5 more minutes, or until the sweet potato is done.

6. I stirred in chopped, cooked chicken breast, but it would be hearty even without.

While the stew was simmering, I cooked some couscous and made a salad (including one of the cukes and part of the jicama).

The result:
Very tasty and enough leftovers for another meal.

* It's not exactly a "stand", since it has a concrete floor and electricity, but I wouldn't call it a "store" either, since it is small, basically unheated and closes at dusk.

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Blogger Connie Barbour said...

This recipe sounds great. I like trying new recipes and will probably make it with the chicken.

Connie (NCRomanceWriter from AW)
Blog Comment Chain #6

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

What a cool post -- I love the before and after shots.

12:01 AM  
Blogger Harbormaster said...

Do you deliver? Looks good!

3:04 PM  
Blogger Peggy said...

Connie: it's pretty easy if you have the spices on hand, and and still tasted great as next-day leftovers.

Nancy: I'm having a lot of fun playing with my new camera :-)

Alan: I don't deliver, but you are welcome to stop by for dinner any time!

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Gillian said...

I love buying odds and ends and discovering what they become when cooked. It's a bit like writing a short story. Except I don't eat my short sotries, because that would be eating my words - much better to eat a portion of that delightful stew.

4:44 AM  
Blogger David Wisehart said...


I was thinking just yesterday that it's been years since I've had Moroccan food.

I saw the movie Babel last night. The Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett storyline takes place in Morocco. There's a dinner scene with some Moroccan shepherds; they were eating some sort of thick vegetable stew mixed with couscous.

The woman seated behind me said, "Ew," probably because the characters were eating with their fingers.

But I thought, "Hey, that food looks pretty good."

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, YUM, Peggy. This looks like a good start (except for the 1/2 cup olive oil) to eating right this year. I want to try this recipe soon.

3:39 PM  
Blogger Peggy said...

Yeah, the 1/2 cup olive oil seems like a lot, but that's cut down from 1 full cup in the original recipe. I would say you need at least a few tablespoons of oil to properly cook the onions and spices, so I may try 1/4 cup next time around.

4:46 PM  
Blogger Mabruk said...

In Morocco, eating is like a big social event! The key is, to eat a little of everything! Most meals often have up to 5 courses: starting with bstilla, thin pastry filled with chicken mixture, followed by a tasty kebab, then a tajine of couscous (granular semolina), which is steamed and served with spices, vegetables, nuts and raisins, and often served with rich spicy stews and roasted meats served with Khubz (a round spongy homemade bread), then fruits, pastries and tea at the end. Last year when I was in Morocco in order to participate in an exhibition of Morocco property, it was enough to fell in love with Moroccan food. I've had dinners with friends that lasted 4 hours, one course after another. The common ritual is washing your hands and drinking tea before and after the meal. Traditional Moroccans, eat with their fingers (right hand) and sharing food in a big platter. Before eating, people give thanks to God by saying "Bismillah" and at the end of the meal the say "Al Hamdulilah".

3:08 AM  

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