Okra and Chickpea Tagine


1 pound fresh or frozen okra, stem ends trimmed, cut into 1/2-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

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3 plum tomatoes, diced, or 1 cup drained canned diced tomatoes

1/2 cup vegetable broth, or reduced-sodium chicken broth

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed

1 tsp no salt mix

1 teaspoon harissa, or hot sauce, or to taste

Method of Preparation:

1. Place 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.

2. Tie cilantro sprigs together with kitchen string.

3. Heat 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.

4. Add 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.

5. 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.