Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Stew

Regular readers will know that in our house, pulses rule supreme and we often bring supplies of chickpeas and lentils grown locally in Spain, over to England. In a tidying up frenzy the other day (family are visiting from Spain soon!) we came across further supplies that we had forgotten about. Result.

I decided to try something different from our regular Puchero and came across various recipes using Moroccan inspired spices which I adapted to suit us. I included chicken in this version, but I feel sure that you could quite happily leave it out which would give you an amazing vegan main course dish.


Feel free to play with the spices, next time I’ll double the harissa to give more of a kick. I used my slow cooker but this could easily be cooked (covered) in a low oven, braised gently on the hob or even in a pressure cooker (although I don’t own one so can’t offer any advice on cooking times). If you prefer to use ready cooked, canned beans just skip the soaking stage and use double the volume in the ingredients list which will give you roughly the same quantity as the dried ones after soaking.

Ingredients (to serve 4 as a main course)

  • Approx 400ml of dried chickpeas (measure by volume) soaked overnight in plenty of cold water with a pinch of bicarbonate then drained
  • 4 chicken thighs or drumsticks (optional)
  • Approx 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of peeled and crushed or chopped garlic
  • 1 level tablespoon of harissa (or chili powder to taste). Use more if you like a little tickle (and who doesn’t?!)
  • 1 teaspoon each of paprika, turmeric and ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons each of ground cumin and cinnamon
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes (mine was 390g)
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • About 220 ml of water (If using a slow cooker, make sure everything is covered by about 2cm of liquid).  You may need to top up with more liquid if cooking in the oven or on the stovetop. Just keep an eye on it and add more hot liquid if necessary.
  • Salt (season after the dish is cooked to help the chickpeas soften when cooking)
  • To serve – a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some finely chopped radish, coriander and red onion.

Heat the oil gently ad add the onion and garlic. Cover and soften then add the spices and cook (uncovered) until the spices release their aroma.


Add the chicken (if using) and the tomatoes, tomato puree and liquid. Bring to a boil and cook on high for 10 minutes. Now put everything into whatever you use to cook (casserole dish, slow cooker etc) and cover. I cooked mine on slow in the slow cooker for 6 hours and the chickpeas were soft and creamy with the chicken cooked through and still holding to the bone. Stovetop should take about 2 hours and a slow oven about 4 hours. Add salt to taste once the dish is cooked.

Arlington Bluebell Wood

When you’re ready to serve (and it’s even better the next day), ladle into deep bowls and serve with the garnish and your favourite bread. Enjoy!

Bluebells (6)

PS. Because the photos of the stew weren’t great (although the stew was…photo quality is due to a desire to eat quickly!), I have included some gratuitous shots of a recent walk we took in a Bluebell Wood nearby, do hope you enjoy a little burst of English springtime.

If you enjoy chick peas and North African inspired spices, why not try this soup?


43 thoughts on “Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Stew

  1. Love Moroccan flavors and your stew sounds terrific to me. I think you were to harsh on yourself about the photo of the stew but I’m happy that you included the photos from your walk. The woods are absolutely beautiful.

    1. Thank you Karen. The walk was so beautiful. It’s 3 farms and the open up the walka for a few weeks every year. This year they were fundraising for a charity that trains dogs to help people with disabilities so ir was worth visiting on so many levels!

  2. That looks delicious!
    I’d be inclined to cook the chickpeas separately in a pressure cooker and then add them to the stew before simmering for an hour or so, but I suspect the whole lot could go in the pressure cooker for about 30 minutes (the chickpeas would require a one hour soak in boiling water first).
    I fancy cooking this in the next couple of days and have a fantastic cazuela that this would simmer very well in, thanks to you 😉

      1. I don’t often make complete meals in mine, but they are great for stocks and cooking pulses quickly.

      2. Yes I think they’re good for that sort of thing then transfer over to something else for the slower cooking part to allow flavours to develop.

  3. Unctuously glorious in all of their tasty guises Ms Chica. Stevie-boy loves chickpeas as well so I could make this twice. Once for him and once for me. Love that soup and again, would be very easy to make vego. You are one generous recipe gal and we all love you for it and those bluebells are SO pretty! I sometimes think that about my forget-me-not acres at the front of the house just before I start whipper snipping them down (prior to them developing seeds and turning into billions of teeny tiny velcro pods…sigh…) spring is delicious but then so is autumn to parched and dry narfs. I am revelling in it’s damp darker joy 🙂

    1. I have a pal whose daughter is vegan…actually she has a lovely blog on WordPress called rawofalioness (think you’ll like it) and I used her as a tester/taster for this one so that she can prepare it for her daughter. Glad you liked the spring flowers but can understand you enjoying the joys of autumn after your long hot summer!

      1. Making space in my RSS Feed Reader as I tap. Cheers for the share Ms Chica. Always room for another excellent vegan blog in my expanding stack 🙂

  4. Lovely! I think I could survive on chick peas, I love them so much! Thanks for another gorgeous recipe – it’s the perfect thing for that Portuguese clay bean pot I bought years ago and never got around to using.. 🙂

  5. I am like Celia: I could live on chickpeas also and have cooked them Moroccan regularly. Am thoroughly old-fashioned: do it from dry and slowly, slowly on the stovetop [it helps if you work from home 🙂 !]. Have to check my recipe ’cause love the look of your spicing and it would not be the first time I have put my own recipe on the back burner and adopted yours 🙂 ! And thanks for the flowers – one thing this ‘Lucky Country’ of ours does not have in this manner . . .

  6. I’ve been on the look-out for some new stews and soups now that it’s cooled off a little here in Oz… this one looks perfect Tanya, packed full of flavour!

  7. Oh yes! Now this is the recipe I’ve been waiting for, looking forward to giving it a try (with my Spanish chickpeas of course!) xx

  8. Very delicious chick peas. I make the same thing and use a Moroccan spice blend called Ras al Hanout – it has basically everything in it like all spice. It really tastes good.

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