Tagines are a type of stew frequently served in Morocco made with a blend of ingredients. The name, tagine, comes from the round earthenware pot typically used to prepare a tagine, which looks like this:
It is not necessary to have a tagine pot yourself to make this dish. I’ve been cooking tagines for years, and have yet to invest in one myself. I use a large soup pot on top of the stove, and it works just fine.
In this vegetarian tagine, garbanzos (also known as chickpeas), eggplant and sundried tomatoes are combined in a savory weeknight stew that is easy to make and easy to serve. Add a small side salad, perhaps a bowl of fruit for dessert, and you have a complete and satisfying midweek meal.
Garbanzos are a legume which are high in fiber and contain 12 grams of protein per cup, which is about the same amount of protein as you would find in two large eggs. The protein in garbanzos is considered “incomplete” since chickpeas don’t contain certain essential amino acids that are needed in our diet, whereas eggs provide “complete” protein. However, as long as you are eating a varied diet including a wide range of foods with different nutritional profiles, you should be able to get all the nutrients you need to maintain a healthy diet and still enjoy this dish. Garbanzos are also a good source of folate and iron and are low in saturated fat.
Garbanzo and Eggplant Tagine (8 servings)
- ½ cup sundried tomatoes
- 2 medium eggplants
- 3 Tbsp. canola oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2“ piece of ginger, finely minced
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 3 cans (15.5 oz) canned low sodium garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
- 8 threads of saffron
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- canola spray
1. Place sundried tomatoes in a small bowl, cover with hot water and allow to soak for approximately 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Peel the eggplants and slice thinly into rounds approximately ¼” thick. Lightly spray the eggplant and place on a baking sheet. Bake eggplant slices in 400 degree F oven until lightly brown, turning once. Remove from oven and set aside. When cool, cut each slice into 4 pieces.
3. Heat a large pot on top of the stove and add the canola oil. Add the chopped onions and gently sauté for 3-5 minutes until soft.
4. Add the ginger and cinnamon and stir briefly.
5. Add the vegetable broth, garbanzo beans, saffron and cilantro and continue to cook for approximately 15 minutes.
6. Add most of the eggplant and all of the sundried tomatoes and continue cooking for another 15 -20 minutes until the flavors are blended.
7. To serve, place approximately one cup of the stew in a flat soup bowl and garnish with a slice of eggplant and some cilantro leaves.
Approximate nutrition information per serving: 240 calories; 6 grams fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 0 grams transfat; 0 mg cholesterol; 85 mg sodium; 40 grams carbohydrate; 14 grams dietary fiber; 10 grams protein.