Vegetarian Times Date and Chickpea Tagine
Remember when I went on that date dinner in December? Well I received some packages of pistachio and coconut rolled date “logs” when I was there and found the perfect recipe to use them: Vegetarian Times’ Date and Chickpea Tagine. Tagine (also spelled tajine) is a North African dish and this one has a perfect balance of sweet and savory. For some reason, I couldn’t find the recipe link on the Veg Times website, but saw other bloggers made the same dish, so you can check out their thoughts on it here and here.
I made some minor tweaks, so my version is here:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp powdered ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
14 oz can diced tomatoes
¼ cup water
2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
10 date logs, chopped (I used the pistachio rolled logs, which added a nice crunch!)
¼ cup lemon juice
2 frozen cubes of cilantro
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Sautee the onions for about 10 minutes until they’re browned. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, ginger, and cinnamon and stir for another few minutes.
Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, and water as needed. Cook for 2-5 minutes. Mix in the dates, cilantro and lemon juice.
The dates I used were pretty mushy (since they were logs and not whole dates) so once they were hot, they started to get melty and mix well throughout the whole dish. It wound up being more like a sweet sauce in a savory dish instead of having whole date bits throughout. It was delicious!
Meanwhile, I cooked 2 cups of whole wheat pearl couscous in the rice cooker. If you like couscous, you’ll love this pearl couscous. I love the texture even better than regular teeny tiny couscous, and it’s hard to find whole wheat couscous in general (outside of Trader Joes!). I mixed the tagine with the couscous for a one-bowl meal and scooped it on top of a bed of spinach greens, which wilted slightly under the heat.
This dish has so many different flavors (sweet, savory) and textures (soft, chewy, nutty) making it an overall satisfying dish. I actually think kids might really enjoy it too, since the dates add some tasty sweetness.