Chickpea tagine

by Alison

The days are finally starting to feel a little longer. Coming home in the evenings I am now more likely to be treated to a glowing sunset rather then darkness. However its only February, the weather is still cold and it will be a while before we can bid farewell to the scarves, hats and gloves that have been keeping us cosy this winter. 

The past weekend was no except. The vicious January winds had blown over, to be replaced with an air of calm and solidity. Sedate grey skies were interspersed with brilliant blue and the most dense bank of fog that lingered over the coast slowly moving in and out.

The bite in the air and a paddle out in a 6mm wetsuit meant I was more then happy to cook something hearty and warming. 

This tagine is adapted from the Middle Eastern Cookery day I completed in Lynda Booth's Dublin Cookery School in 2013. I adapted it for a variety of reasons. It was originally made with chicken but in order to make this a quicker week night dinner I started using chickpeas, saving time on marinading and browning the chicken. I also removed items like green olive and preserved lemons due to personal preference and the difficulty in sourcing the lemons. I replaced onions with shallots and added some dried apricots. It has become a staple in our house, especially since we are trying to eat a less meat. The addition of the courgette and aubergine make it hearty and filling. 

I recently made it as the veggie option for some friends who travelled for my birthday party and while there was only one vegetarian in the mix, the whole pot was emptied by the end of dinner.  It was their probing for the recipe that encouraged me to write this post. I hope you enjoy it.

olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin, dried chilli, ginger powder and ground coriander
2 tins of chickpeas
2 cloves of garlic
4 shallots
1 aubergine, chopped
1 courgette, chopped
a handful of dates, chopped
a handful of dried apricots, chopped
1 tablespoon of tamarind paste
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 x 400g tin of tomatoes
fresh coriander to serve

optional extras: hallumi, pitta breads

Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan.
Chop the shallots and the garlic and add these to the pan. Sauté until the onions are a light gold.
Add the cumin, chilli, ginger and coriander and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the aubergine and courgette and cook until soft.
Add the chickpeas, dates, apricots, tomatoes and some water (maybe a third of the tomato tin. It helps to use this as it ensures you get all the tomatoes out). Simmer for 20-25mins.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add the tamarind paste and garam masala and cook for another few minutes.

Sprinkle with coriander and serve with the extras of your choice.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so much. Would love any feedback if you do try to make it :)