Moroccan stew great all year, but good on chilly night

By Published: September 24, 2018 12:38 PM CT

My friend Peggy Burch frequently makes the stovetop version of Melissa Clark’s Moroccan stew, and one bowlful of it was all it took to convert me to soaking and cooking dried garbanzo beans. Then Clark’s cookbook “Dinner in an Instant” came out, and I switched to this version, close but not exactly the same, that I make in my Instant Pot (I’ve used pressure cookers for years and cannot recommend them enough).

As much as I love this recipe—you will, too—I wanted to try it other ways. Clark, a food writer and recipe developer for The New York Times, is top notch; you can cook the recipe exactly as it’s written and it will be flawless. Still, I wanted to use lentils once, so I did: superb, probably my favorite way to eat the stew and it cuts the cooking time in the pressure cooker to about 20 minutes. Then I tried canned fava beans (pictured here), which again cuts the time. I've added turnips, beets and butternut squash, substituted collards for kale and almost always add a handful of spinach - this is an easily adaptable recipe. Follow it as written the first time as this rainy week will bring a chill to the night air and you’ll appreciate this nourishing and comforting stew. If you play with it later, let me know what you do.


Moroccan Chickpeas and Kale

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, diced (save the fronds for garnish)
  • 1 large jalapeño pepper, seeded if desired, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 2½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 pound dried chickpeas
  • 1 bunch fresh kale, stems discarded, leaves torn into bite-size pieces, about 5 cups
  • 2/3 cup diced dried apricots
  • 2 tablespoons chopped preserved lemon, or more to taste (see note)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish

  1. Using the sauté function, heat the oil in the pressure cooker. Add the onions, fennel and jalapeño and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, salt, turmeric, paprika, cinnamon, cumin, black pepper and cayenne and sauté until they release their fragrance, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and sauté for another minute, until darkened but not burned. (If the tomato paste turns too dark too quickly, turn off the heat.)
  2. Add the chickpeas and 5½ cups of water. Cover and cook on high pressure for 50 minutes, then let the pressure release naturally. If the chickpeas aren't cooked through, cook on high pressure for 5 minutes, then manually release the pressure. Stir in the kale, apricots and preserved lemon. Using the sauté function, simmer until the kale is wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro. Season with more salt if desired, and serve garnished with more cilantro and reserved fennel fronds. Makes 6-8 generous servings.

    Editor's note: No preserved lemons? An easy method for making them in a pinch is to quarter 2 lemons and boil with 2 teaspoons salt in 1 cup water until the water is reduced by about half and the rinds are tender. Drain excess liquid but keep the pulp. Cool, add rinds and pulp to jar and keep in refrigerator for 1 week or so. You can use in the recipe right away.

    Source: “Dinner in an Instant,” Melissa Clark (Clarkson Potter Publishers)


<p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>Moroccan Chickpeas and Kale is easily adapted, so make it once following the recipe then do it your way.</strong> (Jennifer Biggs/Daily Memphian)</span>

Moroccan Chickpeas and Kale is easily adapted, so make it once following the recipe then do it your way. (Jennifer Biggs/Daily Memphian)


Recipes Pressure cooker Moroccan Chickpeas and Kale
Jennifer Biggs

Jennifer Biggs

Jennifer Biggs is a native Memphian and veteran food writer and journalist who covers all things food, dining and spirits related for The Daily Memphian.

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