Chickpea stew with Ras el hanout

I made this a couple of times a while ago and am only just writing it down, so chance plays a part in its accuracy. The first time I made it I added quinoa, the second time I didn’t. To be honest, the quinoa looked like little worms to us once cooked, but I dare say it makes a nutritionally superior dish. Worms would.


Two tins of chickpeas rinsed
Two tins of tomatoes chopped or equivalent fresh
Lots of finely chopped garlic and ginger – at least a couple of tblespns of each
Several onions finely diced
Ras el hanout: 2 heaped tblsp
ghee or oil for frying


Gently fry the onion in a generous amount of ghee until softened, add the garlic and ginger, stir and fry for a few minutes and add the ras el hanout. Mix that in well, add the tomatoes, thoroughly mix and then the chickpeas. Bring to a simmer and reduce to very low heat. Cook for at least an hour. It will not surprise you to hear it is better the day after.

Serve with rice. Add coriander, lemon, chilli to taste. It would be fine as part of an Indian meal. I’m sure it would be lovely as a meat dish too if one were so inclined.

As you can see, this is easy-peasy, only making the ras el hanout takes any effort. If you look online you will see a gadzillion ways of making this, it’s almost like a kitchen sink mix. I guess prosperity and geography play their part, as well as personal taste. I took one of the longer lines of ingredients, figuring I’d stick to what was in the cupboard out of the list. It comes from An Edible Mosaic

Ras el hanout

1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground chili powder
2 teaspoons ground paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground allspice
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons ground mace
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
3/4 teaspoon ground fennel seed
3/4 teaspoon ground anise seed
1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons ground orris root
2 dried bay leaves, ground in a spice mill and strained through a fine mesh sieve (about 1/8 + 1/16 teaspoon ground)
1 teaspoon organic, culinary-grade dried lavender buds, ground in a spice mill and strained through a fine mesh sieve (about 1/2 teaspoon ground)
1 tablespoon organic, culinary-grade dried rose petals, ground in a spice mill and strained through a fine mesh sieve (about 1 1/4 teaspoon ground)

Thoroughly mix and store in an airtight container.
I used all but the last four and ground them all fresh but for the ginger, allspice and tumeric.
As usual, instead of cayenne I added my own chilli powder from dried chillies.

2 thoughts on “Chickpea stew with Ras el hanout

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