You’ll know from guest author Jack’s review of review of Meze: Snacks, Small Plates and Street Food from the Middle East, by Sally Butcher that he was a real fan of the Three-Pea Tagine recipe. He described the spicing as beautifully layered, lifted by the bright note of mint. It works well as one dish of a larger feast, or on its own for a light lunch.
Moroccan TV Supper for 4
- 400 g (14oz can) chickpeas, drained or 100g /3 1⁄2 oz /1⁄2 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight)
- 200 g (7oz /1 cup) chana dal (split yellow peas)
- 75 g (2 3⁄4 oz /1⁄2 cup) raisins
- 1 large onion, chopped
- olive oil for frying
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 level tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 level tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 tsp chilli (red pepper) flakes (optional)
- 550 ml (18 fl oz/ scant 2 1⁄2 cups) vegetable stock, or water
- 350 g (12oz /3 cups) frozen peas, or fresh if it is that time of year
- around 12 cherry tomatoes
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 bunch fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
- 1⁄2 bunch fresh mint, shredded
If you are using dried chickpeas, rinse them and cook in fresh water for about 11⁄2 hours, or until they are soft without falling apart: the addition of a pinch of bicarbonate of soda will accelerate the cooking process.
Soak the chana dal for around 45 minutes. Likewise, the raisins, although they only need 20 minutes’ soaking time.
Fry the onion in a little oil, then once it has softened and become translucent, add the garlic and spices and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the stock or water and bring to the boil before lowering in the drained chana dal, turning the heat down and leaving to simmer (you may need to top up the cooking liquid during this time).
After about 45 minutes, drain the raisins and add them to the tagine together with the cooked chickpeas, frozen peas, cherry tomatoes and a little salt and pepper. Bubble away for a further 10 minutes, or until the peas and tomatoes are cooked. Take the pan/tagine pot off the heat or out of the oven, check and adjust the seasoning, and finally sprinkle the contents liberally with the chopped herbs.
Enjoy hot or just warm. Perfect for a Sunday evening in front of the TV, watching Casablanca of course.
Recipe extracted from Meze: Snacks, Small Plates and Street Food from the Middle East, by Sally Butcher with permission from publisher Pavilion Books. Image credit to Yuki Sugiura. Currently available from Amazon UK (at time of publishing) for £9.56 (RRP £12.99).