This is called Middle Eastern broad bean stew and not Moroccan, because I have also borrowed flavours from my Lebanese roots. The first time my carnivorous partner tried it, he honestly thought it contained meat. To make this dish completely vegetarian/vegan, omit the anchovies. Serve with steamed basmati rice or couscous.
for the harissa paste
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 cloves garlic
1 pinch coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 tablespoons chilli flakes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed
to make the stew
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 anchovy fillets, chopped (optional)
2 cups diced peeled pumpkin
2 carrots, chopped
1/2 red capsicum, diced
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
1 pinch salt
2 cups vegetable stock
1kg broad beans, fresh or frozen
1 tin (440g) diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses or syrup
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint (optional)
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To make the harissa paste: Heat a dry frypan over high heat and add coriander, caraway and cumin seeds. Shake pan gently until spices become fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from hotplate and pour seeds into mortar and grind with pestle to a fine powder. Add garlic, salt, paprika and dried chilli flakes, mashing and stirring until garlic is incorporated with the spices. Mixture will be dry and crumbly. Add enough of the 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil until you have a thick paste. Use less chilli if you prefer less heat. Set aside.
To make the stew: pour 2 tablespoons olive oil into a large pot and add onions and garlic. Cook slowly over low heat until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Push onions aside in the pot, and stir in the anchovies. Cook anchovies until they soften, mashing them with the back of a wooden spoon until they dissolve. Stir together with the onion and garlic mixture.
Add the pumpkin, carrots, capsicum, peas and a pinch of salt. Stir and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Pour in the stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for about a minute.
Stir in the broad beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf and the harissa paste (from step 1). Add brown sugar and pomegranate molasses. Bring back to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook uncovered for about 1 1/2 hours. The long, slow cooking time allows the flavors to deepen.
Just before serving, stir in the chopped parsley. Top with the mint, if you like.
I thought the broad beans would soften up a lot more with the long cooking time but they were still pretty chewy. Perhaps I need to double pod them (which would be a very time consuming thing to do but probably would be less tanin and less fibrous) - my family weren't that keen. I liked the flavour and ate all mine but there were lots of broadbeans left on others plates....unfortunately I have a lot in the freezer as I made a double batch hoping to use up some broadbeans......might take a bit to get through!! - 25 Apr 2010