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Okra & Chickpea Tagine
“This quick and easy okra and chickpea stew is full of Moroccan flavors. The name “tagine” refers to the two-part, cone-shaped casserole dish in which countless slow-cooked Moroccan dishes are prepared. You don't need to prepare this in a tagine dish—it works well in a large saucepan—but if you have one, here's a chance to use it.”
1 pound fresh or frozen okra, stem ends trimmed, cut into ½-inch pieces
10 sprigs fresh cilantro, plus more leaves for garnish
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 plum tomatoes, diced, or 1 cup drained canned diced tomatoes
½ cup vegetable broth, or reduced-sodium chicken broth
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon harissa, (see Ingredient Note) or hot sauce, or to taste
1Place a large bowl of ice water next to the stove. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add okra and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the okra with a slotted spoon to the ice water. Drain.
2Tie cilantro sprigs together with kitchen string.
3Heat oil in a tagine dish set over a heat diffuser or a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper. Cook, stirring, until soft, 2 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
4Add onion, garlic, ginger and pepper to the pan. Cook, stirring, until the onion is soft, 3 to 6 minutes. Mix in tomatoes, broth, cumin, the okra, cilantro sprigs and half the bell pepper. Reduce heat to medium; partially cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the okra is soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in chickpeas and salt; cook for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat; discard the cilantro sprigs. Stir in harissa (or hot sauce). Serve sprinkled with the remaining bell pepper and cilantro leaves, if desired.
Equipment: Kitchen string
Ingredient note: Harissa is a fiery Tunisian chile paste commonly used in North African cooking. Find it at specialty-food stores, mustaphas.com or amazon.com. Harissa in a tube will be much hotter than that in a jar. You can substitute Chinese or Thai chile-garlic sauce for it.