Moroccan Butternut Squash and Chickpea Tagine

Adapted via ClosetCooking and AllRecipes
Serves: 8 to 10 (generous servings)

For harissa:
♦ 6 to 8 bird’s eye chiles, seeded and stems removed
♦ 12 cloves garlic, peeled
♦ 1 tbsp ground coriander
♦ 1 tbsp ground cumin
♦ 1 tbsp kosher salt
♦ 1/4 cup fresh mint
♦ 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
♦ 1/2 cup olive oil

For stew:
♦ 3 tbsp oil
♦ 1 medium onion, diced
♦ 3 cloves garlic, grated
♦ 2-3 tbsp ginger, grated
♦ 1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
♦ 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
♦ 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
♦ 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
♦ 1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
♦ 5 cups vegetable broth
♦ 1 pound dried chickpeas, cooked (or 5 cups canned)
♦ 2 tbsp honey
♦ 2/3 cup raisins
♦ 2/3 cup olives, coarsely chopped
♦ 1/2 preserved lemon, pith removed and diced (quick version here)
♦ salt and pepper to taste
♦ 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into bite sized pieces
♦ large handful cilantro, chopped

For harissa: Place the chiles, garlic, ground coriander, cumin, salt mint and cilantro into a blender or food processor. If the mixture is too dry, add a bit of the olive oil. Store in a bowl or jar in the refrigerator with the remaining oil poured in a layer over the top. (Note: Make sure that the surface is covered with a layer of oil each time you use some. Can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to a week).

For stew: Heat the oil in a pan; add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper and saute until fragrant, about a minute.

Add the broth, butternut squash, harissa, honey, raisins, olives, preserved lemon, salt and pepper, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the chickpeas and continue to simmer, covered, until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and serve with warm couscous or rice; garnish with cilantro.

To learn more about this dish and my musical pairing, click HERE.

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