African cooking is especially appealing for its emphasis on natural ingredients, as well as the simple, delicious flavors that result. Author Medearis has come to regard Africans as the original ethnic vegetarians. Within Africa’s many cultures, fruits, grains, and vegetables have always played a vital role in highly adaptable and ever-evolving cooking styles.
Why this vegetarian Moroccan dish got its name is anybody’s guess, but Medearis imagines that it normally includes chicken, an ingredient that would be excluded during some religious holidays. It has enough protein to be a main-course dish without the chicken in the pot!
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, stems discarded
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon saffron filaments
1/2 cup plain soy milk
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion. Saute for 7 to 10 minutes, or until soft and golden.
2. Add the chickpeas, sweet potatoes, cilantro, salt, pepper, saffron, and soy milk. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
Adapted from The Ethnic Vegetarian, by Angela Shelf Medearis (Rodale, 2004).