The Musette: Chickpea Tagine

In this Moroccan chickpea tagine, a base of onions and tomatoes is layered with the contrasting flavours and textures of sweet raisins, carrots, nutty chickpeas (garbanzo) and briny olives. Aromatic saffron and a homemade ras el hanout spice blend tie together all of these luscious flavours. The tagine is vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free and gluten-free, so suitable for all diets. It can be as spicy as you want it to be, and the sweet raisins and carrots make the stew popular with children as well.

Ingredients (serves 8)

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 6-8 fat garlic cloves, crushed into a paste
  • 2 medium carrots, cut chunks
  • 75g (1/2 cup) raisins
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 395g (14 oz) whole plum tomatoes (canned, with juices, crushed
  • 495g (3 cups) cooked chickpeas (approx. 2 x 15 oz cans)
  • 2 tbsp ras el hanout
  • 1/4 tsp saffron
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 5g (1/4 cup) freshly chopped coriander (cilantro)
  • 35g (1/4 cup) black olives, roughly chopped
  • fine sea salt, to taste


1.Add olive oil to a casserole or heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions with half a tsp salt and sauté for around 15 minutes, until the onions are soft and begin to caramelise.

Garlic added to onions in Dutch oven.

2. Add crushed garlic to the pot and continue to saute for another minute. Stir in the carrots and saute for a couple of minutes, followed by the raisins. Add the tomato puree and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the crushed tomatoes to the pot and mixing well. Stir in the chickpeas, the ras el hanout, paprika and saffron to the pot and mix well. Stir in the coriander and/or parsley.

Tomatoes added to tagine in Dutch oven.

3. Add a cup of water and mix well. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, cover the tagine with a tight lid, lower the heat, and let the tagine simmer for 30-45 minutes. Stir occasionally and add more water if needed. The tagine should be thick but if you want more sauce you can add more water or vegetable stock.

Olives added to tagine.

4. Finally stir in the olives and mix well. Check seasoning and add more as needed. Turn off heat and serve with some couscous.

Moroccan chickpea tagine in a copper pan with cilantro garnish.

5. Place leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to four days. The stew tastes even better the next day, when the flavours have had time to meld, so this is a great recipe to make ahead. Freeze the chickpea tagine in a freezer-safe container for up to three months.

Sheree’s Handy Hints

1. To make the tagine in a slow cooker add the oil followed by all the ingredients to the slow cooker. Mix well, add two cups of water, and cook for three hours on the high setting. Stir a few times during cooking. You can also make the tagine oil-free by skipping the oil.

2. To make an Instant Pot chickpea tagine saute all ingredients on the “saute” setting. Once you’ve added the water to the tagine, place the lid on the IP and cook on manual pressure for 10 minutes. Let the IP stand 10 minutes, then force-release and stir in the cilantro and olives. Add salt as needed.

3. If you don’t have any ras el hanout, in a bowl mix ½ teaspoon each of ground cumin, ground cloves, ground allspice, ground black pepper, cinnamon and cayenne with a tablespoon of ground coriander and ¼ teaspoon each of ground fennel or star anise, nutmeg, turmeric, ginger and paprika.

4. To make this more of a chickpea and vegetable tagine you can add potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, cauliflower, aubergine (eggplant), courgette (zucchini)  and mushrooms. Just remember to adjust the seasoning.

29 Comments on “The Musette: Chickpea Tagine

  1. Pingback: ReBlogging ‘The Musette: Chickpea Tagine’ – Link Below | Relationship Insights by Yernasia Quorelios

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