Okra, Potato, and Chickpea Tagine

Have you ever used a tagine?  Because you should.  Everyone should have a tagine handy in their kitchens. Tagines are these earthenware dishes that come with conical tops.  Good ones can be used either stove top or in the oven.  They are typically found in north Africa and you can make delicious food in them.

I first fell in love with tagines when I was in Morocco a few years ago.  As a vegetarian, I did not get to sample any chicken or fish dishes, though I’ve heard that cooking meat in one of these dishes makes them so tender that they fall off the bone.  Sounds pretty tempting, right?  Well, non-meat foods come out pretty awesome, too. When you cook vegetables or couscous in a tagine, you get a beautiful mix of flavors that is absolutely divine. Seriously, everyone should go out and buy a tagine.  Like, right now.  I’ll wait.

Anyway, I saw this recipe in the New York Times database, and I knew that it was the perfect way to inaugurate my tagine.  I also kind of fell in love with this recipe because it has okra in it.  Let me take a moment here to say something super controversial; I love okra.  I would happily eat it daily.  I understand that this is weird.  I get that there are people out there who hate the sliminess and can’t seem to look past that to grasp the flavor of okra.  But I am totally not one of them.  I’ve loved okra ever since we first met.  But I will openly admit that I don’t know how to cook it.  Which is why I was so excited to find a recipe with both a tagine AND okra in it!

I actually made this stew back in August.  I just never got around to sharing it.  But fresh okra is one its way out for the year (slash it’s totally already done, but we’re pretending it’s still in season) and I knew I had to share this dish before it was too late!  This stew is a little tangy and full of tomatoey goodness. The potatoes make the dish feel hearty, while the chickpeas add some protein. Serve it over brown rice and you’ve got yourself a full meal.

Okra, Potato, and Chickpea Tagine

Adapted from The New York Times, serves 6

Ingredients:
1.5 pounds okra, ends trimmed
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 pounds fingerling potatoes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 pound tomatoes, finely chopped (can also use from a can)
2 tablespoons tomato paste dissolved in 1 cup water
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1 can chickpeas
Juice of one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Place okra in a large bowl with vinegar and a good shake of salt.  Let it sit for at least 30 minutes (take this time to prep everything else!), then drain and rinse off the okra.  This should minimize the slime.  Roughly cut the okra into 2-4 pieces.

2. While the okra is soaking, heat the oil in the bottom of a heavy casserole dish, dutch oven, or tagine over medium to low heat.  Add in the onions and saute for a few minutes until they are soft and sweating, then throw in the garlic.  When the garlic is fragrant (it should less than a minute), add in the tomatoes, tomato paste in water, parsley, and spices and bring to a simmer.

3. After simmering for about 10 minutes, add the potatoes, okra, and chickpeas into the pot.  Cover and let it cook for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring periodically and adding more water if needed.

4. When the potatoes are fork tender and the sauce is nice and thick, taste for salt and pepper.  Serve hot over rice, quinoa, or another grain of your choice, or even by itself.

5 Responses to Okra, Potato, and Chickpea Tagine

  1. Jane says:

    Sounds really delicious with all the lovely added spices, I wonder if it would be just as good with frozen okra, hope so!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Looks great. This is the father of your nieces and nephew – do I recall correctly that you cooked an okra dish before one holiday at our house? Okra is awesome . . .

  3. tagine? how cool! this looks so good!

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