North African Vegetable Stew

North African veggie stew

Continuing along with the uncreative titles, here’s a veggie stew I put together using an abundance of fresh produce from the farmer’s market. It’s as simple as chopping stuff up and throwing it in a pot with some seasonings, but it does make for a wonderfully savoury meal despite the lack of meat.

Most of the umami comes from the onions and tomatoes so make sure you get the onions a bit caramelized and you use nice vine ripened tomatoes. I’ve always been too lazy to scrape out the seeds of tomatoes (plus it seems like such a waste), but for those like me, you’ve actually been doing the right thing. It turns out that most of the glutamates (yes, the natural cousin to monosodium glutamate… aka MSG), hangs out in the jelly that surrounds the seeds. By scraping out the seeds, you’re actually scraping out a lot of the flavour.

I served this with some red and yellow Quinoa for some extra protein, but it would also work great with some cous cous or flat bread. One of the great things about this is that you can really use just about any veggie. Squash, okra, green beans, carrots, or pumpkin would all work with the tomatoes and onions.

Olive oil
1 small onion
1 small red bell pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp Harrissa (or 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper)
1/4 tsp powdered ginger
1/4 tsp cumin
3 small ripe tomatoes (or 2 large ones)
1 C chopped romano beans
1 Japanese or Chinese eggplant
1/4 C pitted green olives sliced in half
salt to taste

Heat some oil in a pan and saute the onions until they start caramelizing. Add the bell peppers and cook for a few minutes more until they are nice and soft. Add the cinnamon, turmeric, coriander, Harissa, ginger, and cumin and continue frying until the spices are fragrant.

Add the rest of the ingredients, along with some salt. Allow it to cook uncovered over medium low heat until the beans are tender, about 40 minutes. Taste and add some more salt if necessary. If your tomatoes weren’t particularly ripe you might also want to add a bit of honey.

If you want to give it a bit more color, chop up some parsley and stir it in at the last minute and serve with some quinoa, cous cous, rice, or flatbread.

  • http://www.souvlakiforthesoul.com/ Peter G

    I love the idea of the veggies in a Moroccan style stew…I’ll have mine with cous cous please.

  • http://www.souvlakiforthesoul.com Peter G

    I love the idea of the veggies in a Moroccan style stew…I’ll have mine with cous cous please.

  • http://stickygooeycreamychewy.blogspot.com/ Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,C

    Who cares about the title? This stew looks awesome! I love everything about it. I think I’d like cauliflower in it too. I actually even have all of the ingredients on hand. Very well done!

  • http://stickygooeycreamychewy.blogspot.com Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy

    Who cares about the title? This stew looks awesome! I love everything about it. I think I’d like cauliflower in it too. I actually even have all of the ingredients on hand. Very well done!

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com/ Manggy

    Confession: I’m not very familiar with African cuisine. In fact, most bookstores here don’t carry books about African cooking. (I saw one at a book sale, but it was quite ancient.) It does look really good though, so now I’m really curious!

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com Manggy

    Confession: I’m not very familiar with African cuisine. In fact, most bookstores here don’t carry books about African cooking. (I saw one at a book sale, but it was quite ancient.) It does look really good though, so now I’m really curious!

  • http://www.noblepig.com/ noble pig

    What a great recipe and it’s so simple. A nice way to showcase the available vegetables using Morrocaan spices.

  • http://www.noblepig.com/ noble pig

    What a great recipe and it’s so simple. A nice way to showcase the available vegetables using Morrocaan spices.

  • http://allthingsnice.typepad.com/ syrie

    Looks fabulous. I love veggie stews especially with eggplant.

  • http://allthingsnice.typepad.com syrie

    Looks fabulous. I love veggie stews especially with eggplant.

  • http://voodoolily.blogspot.com/ Heather

    “White fast food is not as good as rice and stew!” This stew looks so good, and a perfect way to use some of the amazing produce coming out of gardens and farmer’s markets. By the way, your dish looks a lot like a dish from Cote d’Ivoire called kedjenou, but without the chicken.

    You should check out the Congo Cookbook online. They have tons of great recipes. Not that you need them, but it’s great for a little inspirado – especially for fish and chicken. I think they have some good northern African stuff, but if you ever want to go sub-Saharan, that’s a great resource.

  • http://voodoolily.blogspot.com Heather

    “White fast food is not as good as rice and stew!” This stew looks so good, and a perfect way to use some of the amazing produce coming out of gardens and farmer’s markets. By the way, your dish looks a lot like a dish from Cote d’Ivoire called kedjenou, but without the chicken.

    You should check out the Congo Cookbook online. They have tons of great recipes. Not that you need them, but it’s great for a little inspirado – especially for fish and chicken. I think they have some good northern African stuff, but if you ever want to go sub-Saharan, that’s a great resource.

  • http://www.sugarbar.org/ diva

    with flatbread? actually that’s really tempting cos then you can mop up all that lovely stew with the bread. mmmm.

  • http://www.sugarbar.org diva

    with flatbread? actually that’s really tempting cos then you can mop up all that lovely stew with the bread. mmmm.

  • http://canarygirl.com/ canarygirl

    Oh my…this looks really delicious, Marc! It’s been *years* since I’ve had African food…I’m embarrassed to say how many! lol The last time was in Uptown Minneapolis. Sadly, I’ve never made my own. It sounds like it’s not terribly difficult, either…this with some Injera and spicy chicken….my mouth is watering.

  • http://canarygirl.com canarygirl

    Oh my…this looks really delicious, Marc! It’s been *years* since I’ve had African food…I’m embarrassed to say how many! lol The last time was in Uptown Minneapolis. Sadly, I’ve never made my own. It sounds like it’s not terribly difficult, either…this with some Injera and spicy chicken….my mouth is watering.

  • http://voodoolily.blogspot.com/ Heather

    Weird, I totally left a comment a couple days ago, and even saw it posted and everything. I was like number 6 or something.

    This looks great! Okra, eggplant and sweet potatoes are all delicious with that sauce of yours.

  • http://voodoolily.blogspot.com Heather

    Weird, I totally left a comment a couple days ago, and even saw it posted and everything. I was like number 6 or something.

    This looks great! Okra, eggplant and sweet potatoes are all delicious with that sauce of yours.

  • http://www.weareneverfull.com/ We Are Never Full

    the eggplant in this dish is drawing me in. we’re doing a indian version of this tonight and i’m kicking myself for not buying some eggplant.

  • http://www.weareneverfull.com We Are Never Full

    the eggplant in this dish is drawing me in. we’re doing a indian version of this tonight and i’m kicking myself for not buying some eggplant.

  • http://www.sonicboom.ru/ sonnie

    simple and fabulous! thanks for the recipe!

  • http://www.sonicboom.ru sonnie

    simple and fabulous! thanks for the recipe!

  • jim

    Moroccan food is great!!!

  • jim

    Moroccan food is great!!!

  • http://uncleraysvegetarianrecipes.blogspot.com/ Uncle Ray

    very simple. Love your spice combination which I will try for lunch. I to will have mine with cous cous please!

    Great post!

  • http://uncleraysvegetarianrecipes.blogspot.com Uncle Ray

    very simple. Love your spice combination which I will try for lunch. I to will have mine with cous cous please!

    Great post!

  • It Girl

    This evening I tried this stew and it’s awesome. I mean really really awesome. I cooked the dish with the lid on, added a 1/2 tsp of cumin instead of 1/4 and caramelized the heck out of the onions and added 1/2 cup water and man….

    Dreamy. I agree this would be wonderful with okra.

  • It Girl

    This evening I tried this stew and it’s awesome. I mean really really awesome. I cooked the dish with the lid on, added a 1/2 tsp of cumin instead of 1/4 and caramelized the heck out of the onions and added 1/2 cup water and man….

    Dreamy. I agree this would be wonderful with okra.

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  • VV

    just made this! I didnt know the difference between japanese eggplant and the kind that i always see at my local place. so i went with that…
    I also amped up the cumin and severed on quinoa.

    I am also a greek yogurt addict so i topped it all off with a dollip and drizzled some extra virgin olive oil on top of that.

    It rocked.

    thanks so much for the recipe

  • VV

    just made this! I didnt know the difference between japanese eggplant and the kind that i always see at my local place. so i went with that…
    I also amped up the cumin and severed on quinoa.

    I am also a greek yogurt addict so i topped it all off with a dollip and drizzled some extra virgin olive oil on top of that.

    It rocked.

    thanks so much for the recipe

  • http://www.twitter.com/jzlandau jzlandau

    Just picking up the ingredients for this today marc. Looking forward to trying it!

  • Doetting

    Second recipe I have tried from this site, and the second winner.  I didn’t have the beans or eggplant, so I used carrots, a turnip, zucchini, and baby bellas, excellent.  Made with tri-color couscous.  Excellent.

  • Andrea

    Thanks for the recipe! I see it’s from 2008, but I’m using it to make dinner in Sousse, Tunisia tonight in the first days of 2012.

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