Showing posts with label Morocco. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Morocco. Show all posts

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Moroccan-style Lentil Chickpea Stew

This dish is traditionally made with ground or minced lamb and is a favorite in Moroccan cuisine and in our house too. But, if I’m honest, I prefer my version substituting lentils for the lamb. The onions, lime and all the spices make this a bright and deliciously warming stew to serve over rice or couscous.

This week my Sunday Supper family is sharing veggie main dishes, making vegetables the star attraction of our supper table. This is the perfect time to share my adaption of a favorite recipe, this lentil and chickpea stew. Just take a look at that list of ingredients! There's so much flavor that you will not miss the meat, I can assure you. Do give it a try! If you are looking to add more veggie-centric meals to your family menu, make sure to scroll down to the check out the link list of our 30 delicious dishes.

This is adapted from a recipe on My Recipes.

1 cup or 210g green (preferably French Puy) lentils
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra drizzle for serving
2 large onions, peeled (13 3/4 oz or 390g)
1 large carrot, peeled (5 oz or 140g by weight)
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne or to taste (I added a whole teaspoon.)
2 cups vegetable stock from cubes or homemade if you are so inclined
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons lime zest
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste (This is going to depend on the saltiness of your stock.)
1 (15 1/2-ounce can) chickpeas
Small bunch cilantro plus extra for garnish, if desired
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Note: I’ve given the weights of my onions and carrot to give you an idea of size. Don’t get too hung up on this. A little more carrot or a little less onion and it’s all going to be just fine.

Cook 1 cup or 210g green lentils in a small pot with ample water to cover, until tender. This only takes about 20 minutes so keep an eye on the pot and add more water if necessary. Drain and set aside.

Make up vegetable broth, set aside. Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas. Zest your lime and then juice it.

Cut your carrot up on the diagonal and slice your onions vertically into strips rather than rings. Measure out all your spices. Chop the cilantro.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat then add the olive oil to the pan. Add onion and carrot to pan; sauté for a few minutes.

Add cumin, cinnamon, coriander, and pepper; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

Add cooked lentils, tomato paste, grated lemon rind, 1/4 teaspoon salt and chickpeas, then pour in the vegetable stock.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until mixture thickens.

Remove from heat and give the pan a little drizzle of olive oil, then stir in cilantro and lime juice.

(If you aren’t serving right away, wait to reheat then add the cilantro and lime juice just before serving.)

Sprinkle on a little extra cilantro for color, if desired.

This dish is perfect served with couscous or rice.


Many thanks to our Sunday Supper hosts this week, D.B. from Crazy Foodie Stunts. I know this meant he had to work through the holiday weekend so let me just say, you rock, D.B.! Hope your Thanksgiving was fabulous!

Veggie Mains

Veggie Snacks and Sweets


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Chickpea Moroccan Bread #BreadBakers

Cumin, kalongi and chickpeas add a lovely spicy heartiness to these tender, fluffy flatbreads. They are fabulous on their own or will happily accompany most any savory meal.

I am sure it happens in every family. A new favorite recipe is somehow discovered and is made again and again. Then, over time, it is forgotten until a conversation sparks a memory and you think, “Hey, remember that baked Camembert dish we used to make?”  We loved that dish! And you need to make it again. This month’s Bread Bakers theme, yeasty flatbreads, had that effect on me. I scoured the internet for inspiration and even found several recipes I would have loved to adapt and share, then I suddenly remember this one and had to make it again.

It’s been more than 15 years since Jamie Oliver’s second book, The Naked Chef Takes Off* was published but I still refer to it very occasionally for a couple of recipes, including the one he calls Chickpea Moroccan Flatbread. I have no idea whether actual Moroccans would recognize the recipe or make anything similar but I can tell you that it’s delicious. Over the years I’ve adapted it slightly, sometimes also adding fresh chopped chilies along with the chickpeas, varying the spices or brushing the finished flatbreads with melted butter. I can highly recommend those modifications. This bread is quick to make, needing only one rise, and adapts beautifully to whatever you want to throw in it.

4 cups or 500g strong bread flour plus extra for dusting
1 1/4- 1 1/2 cups or 300-360ml tepid water
1 (1/4 oz or 7g) sachet dried yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup or 130g cooked chickpeas (I use drained and rinsed canned ones most often but you can cook your own.)
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons whole cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons kalongi (also know as nigella seeds) Jamie’s version calls for coriander.
1 teaspoon canola or other light oil
1/4 cup or 60g butter, melted and cooled

Combine your yeast and sugar and add in about half a cup or 120ml of the tepid water. Leave to prove while you get on with the recipe. You are looking for the mixture to bubble up and become foamy. If it does not, your yeast is dead. Buy some new yeast and start over.

Mash your chickpeas roughly with a fork. No need to remove the skins.

Add your flour and salt to a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle.

Pour the yeast mixture into the well. Sprinkle on your cumin and nigella seeds then add in the mashed chickpeas.

Start mixing the flour and chickpeas into the yeasty water in the middle, a little at a time, until you have a sticky dough. Add the rest of the water a little at a time, mixing more flour in as you go, until you have a homogenous dough.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is stretchy and springy, dusting with a little more flour as necessary. Form the dough into a smooth ball.

Oil the inside of a large bowl with the canola oil and put the dough ball inside. Slash the top with a lame or sharp knife to allow the dough to rise with ease.

Cover it with some cling film or a towel and put it in a warm, draft free place for at least half an hour.

When you are ready to griddle your chickpea flatbreads, punch the risen dough down and cut it into seven or eight pieces.

Start heating your iron griddle or heavy duty skillet and, on a lightly floured surface, roll the first ball out thinly with a rolling pin.

When the griddle is hot, lay the rolled dough on it, being careful not to touch the griddle and burn yourself. Cook on one side until little brown spots and bubbles appear and the dough releases itself from the griddle.

Turn and griddle on the other side until done.

This takes just a couple of minutes on each side.

Meanwhile, roll out the next dough ball into a circle in readiness.

Remove the cooked flatbread to a plate and brush both sides with the melted butter. Keep warm while you cook the rest.

Add the next flatbread to the hot griddle and repeat process until all the flatbreads are cooked and brushed with butter.



Many thanks to our Bread Bakers host this month, Mireille of The Schizo Chef. I am delighted to be making one of my old favorite recipes to share for this fun yeasty flatbread event! Have a look at all the other wonderful flatbreads we’ve got for you today!

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here.

Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to

* Affiliate link

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Khobz Mzaweq - Moroccan Decorated Bread #BreadBakers

Khobz Mzaweg or decorated yeast bread is a specialty loaf from Morocco, so called because of the pattern created with a sharp blade, the shiny egg yolk wash and the sprinkling of both sesame and nigella seeds before baking.

I had a friend ask me yesterday, wasn’t it kind of expensive, running this blog, buying the ingredients and then, often, giving the baked goods away? I explained that, aside from the dishes I do share, we eat everything that is baked or cooked in my kitchen, most of what you see written about here was breakfast or lunch or dinner. Also, I do make pocket change money from folks who use my Amazon affiliate links to make a purchase. But the most valuable part of this space for me is the way it stretches me to try new recipes, different ingredients and unusual methods

I belong to several food bloggers groups that post every month with themes which require me to do some research and, often, delve into other cultures or use ingredients that I may not have tried before. This is so much more than just cooking and eating and writing. It is the life-long adventure of learning.

This month our Bread Bakers host Karen from Karen’s Kitchen Stories chose seeds as our theme. Now for Bread Bakers, any bread will do, be it yeast or sourdough or even quick bread so the options for a bread with seeds were wide open. I did a quick search online and one of the first recipes that came up was the loaf made for today’s post, khobz mzaweg

I had never heard of it before but I couldn’t resist the golden crust with the diamond pattern, scattered with seeds! But here’s the funny thing, as soon as I took the first bite, I knew I had tasted a bread like this before. Nigella seeds aside, it reminded me of the great big wonderful sesame sprinkled Italian loaves that muffuletta sandwiches are served on in New Orleans. Turns out, khobz mzaweg are often used for sandwiches in Morocco as well. Small world.

Khobz Mzaweq - Moroccan Decorated Bread

The recipe for my khobz (meaning bread) and mzaweg (meaning decorated) was adapted from this one on Make sure you scroll on down to see the other lovely seeded breads my fellow Bread Bakers have created for you today!
2 1/2 cups or 315g white flour, plus extra for kneading
1 1/2 cups or 190g fine semolina
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, plus extra for sprinkling on top
2 teaspoons nigella seeds, plus extra for sprinkling on top
1/4 oz or 7g yeast (I used one packet of Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise.)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 whole egg
About 1 cup or 240ml warm water
1 egg yolk – for the egg wash

Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or by oiling the center. Or you can dust it with a little fine semolina. I used a silicone mat to roll mine out, then I transferred the whole shebang to the baking tray, so I skipped this step.

In a small bowl, put your yeast, sugar and a couple of tablespoons of the flour. Add in about one third of the warm water and leave to proof for about 10 minutes. If it gets all foamy, proceed with the recipe. If you have no reaction, your yeast is dead. Buy some more yeast and start again.

Foamy and we are good to go!

In the mixing bowl of your stand mixer, put the balance of your flour, the semolina, the salt and the sesame and nigella seeds and mix well.

Add in the egg, the oil and the contents of your frothy yeast bowl.  Pour in the rest of the warm water.

Mix until all the ingredients are well combined and you have a soft dough.

Use the dough hook in your machine or turn the dough out onto a clean floured surface to knead until smooth and stretchy. This takes about 10 minutes. I did the kneading by hand because I sometimes find that I have to add too much extra flour to get my bread hook not to stick in the middle of a soft dough.

Shape the dough into a nice ball and place it on your prepared pan (or silicone mat.) Cover with a clean towel and leave to rest of 10-15 minutes.

After the dough has rested, press it out gently to flatten the dough into a large circle about 13 inches or 33cm across. Cover again with the towel and leave to rise about one hour in a warm place. I placed my silicone mat on the baking pan and balanced it over a sink filled with very hot water.

When your hour is almost up, preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C.

Whisk the egg yolk with a little water to thin it enough to brush on the dough. A teaspoon or two will usually do the trick.

Lightly score the top of the bread with a very sharp knife or a lame, which is essentially a curved razorblade with a handle. I bought my first one from King Arthur Flour a thousand years ago when they were not yet online and would send out a physical catalog. I carved my order out on stone with a chisel. Or sent them a fax. Same difference now. Seems like it’s gotten some poor reviews but I love mine!

Use a pastry brush to paint the top of the dough with the egg yolk wash.

Sprinkle on some more sesame seeds and nigella seeds to decorate.

Bake the loaf in your preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until it is golden brown all over and sounds hollow when tapped.

Even the bottom has a lovely color, doesn't it?

Slide it off your pan onto a wire rack to cool.


After enjoying a sliver or two warm with butter, I allowed the whole thing to cool completely and I probably don't even have to tell you, because I'm sure you know, I went straight out and got my ingredients and I made a muffuletta, right?

Seeds are the beginning of most plant life but they are also the impetus for some great breads this month! Again, thanks to Karen from Karen's Kitchen Stories for the great theme!

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send me an email with your blog URL to

Little hint: If you are going to take photos on the rug, keep a sharp eye out for your helper who might suddenly appear in the viewfinder.