janet @ the taste space

Moroccan Chana Dal Stew with Green Olives and Preserved Lemon

In Mains (Vegetarian) on November 1, 2012 at 5:43 AM

With less free time, I have had to trim my bloglist. I can’t seem to fit everything into a day, so I am focusing my blog reading in the morning.

However, all bets are off if I can’t sleep at night.

I recently discovered this incredibly hilarious blog. Maybe you’ve run into her blog already? Jenny, The Bloggess?

Just read these two posts and I guarantee you will be laughing:

Post 1. Post 2.

I don’t want to give away any of the punch lines, but it makes me look tame. Crazy Janet buying 10 squashes is nothing compared to this!

Crazy Janet buying 10 squashes means more squash recipes for you, though!

This is a recipe I bookmarked years ago when Deb first posted it: Squash and Chickpea Moroccan Stew.

I stashed away a preserved lemon and green olives a bit too long, just for this recipe.

Turns out that while I had the squash and green beans, too, I didn’t have any chickpeas. My freezer collection had been depleted. Undeterred, I pulled out the next best thing: chana dal, or split chickpeas. Except they aren’t typical chickpeas, they are black desi chickpeas. A tad smaller, a bit firmer, they have a thick shell which makes them look black. However, chana dal splits them in half and removes the tough outer shell. I figured they would cook up faster than unsoaked chickpeas, too. Have no chana dal? Try split yellow peas instead (soaked would be best)… or used cooked chickpeas like in the original. 🙂

While my stew looks nothing like Deb’s original version, I am sure mine was equally as delicious. I liked the creamy nature of the chana dal as a back drop for the stew along with cinnamon and cumin. The buttercup squash was sweet and complemented the grassiness of the green beans (yes, my plants were very prolific this year). For further depth, green Cerignola olives and preserved lemon make this an exotic twist of flavours.

I was trying to tackle bookmarked recipes last month and I wonder if I should keep this one bookmarked so I can try the original version? I still have half a preserved lemon left!

While I still have many more bookmarked recipes courtesy of a great vegan mofo, I still tackled many of my dog-eared bookmarks and depleted my pantry items. Thank goodness most of the recipes were successes!

What have you bookmarked recently?

What are your favourite non-food blogs?

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays,  to this month’s My Legume Love Affair, hosted by Simona, and to this month’s Bookmarked Recipes.

Moroccan Chana Dal Stew with Green Olives and Preserved Lemon
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, small dice
4 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tsp ground cumin
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup chana dal, cleaned and rinsed (or split peas, or add cooked chickpeas later)
1 lb winter squash, peeled and large dice (I used buttercup squash)
3/4 lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 preserved lemon (rind only), finely chopped (around 1 tbsp)
1 cup brined green olives (I used Cerignola), pitted and coarsely chopped

1. In a large pot over medium heat, add oil. Once hot, add onion, garlic, cumin, and cinnamon, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until spices are aromatic and onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Deglaze with broth and stir in chana dal. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until almost cooked through.

2. Add squash and green beans and cook 10 minutes more, or until the vegetables are cooked through. Add tomatoes with their juices and simmer 5 minutes more.

3. Remove from heat and stir in preserved lemon and olives. Remove cinnamon stick.

Serves 4.

  1. I’ve had Deb’s recipe pinned forever too! I’m sure your version is just as tasty (as always!). Those warm cumin flavors are so perfect for this chilly weather.

    Apparently I’m craving treat after my competition – I’ve been pinning sweets all week long!

  2. What a wonderful vegetarian interpretation of a classic dish. I have a jar of preserved lemon ready to be used!

  3. Yay, dal! Dal is exactly what I want to eat when it gets blustery out. 🙂 And just last night we were wondering how to use preserved lemon! This is obviously a great choice.

  4. My blog reading definitely needs to be trimmed lol…but we’ll see if it ever happens! I’ve been meaning to make that stew also! LOVE your version.

  5. the tang from the preserved lemon must take this dal to a whole new level!

  6. Wow I can only imagine how much flavour has been packed in there! I have never had preserved lemons before and would never thing to use them in a dish like this. Very cool 🙂

  7. That is exactly what I’m craving right now! ;D ♥

  8. I love how chunky this is and all the olives in there. 😉 Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays this week.

  9. Mmmm…this looks good, and so incredibly comforting! I’ve actually had preserved lemons on my to-make list for AGES. One of these days I’ll get around to making them…and then I can make this!

  10. sounds great – I have a jar of preserved lemons for ages in my fridge so this might be a good way to try them – though I am trying to revisit blogged recipes rather than dip into my bookmarks because I need a bit more time for other things than blogging right now – and in busy times non-food blogs have fallen off my radar sadly – I quite liked a daily photograph blog from melbourne when I had more time – http://todaymelbourne.blogspot.com.au/

    • Hey Johanna,

      With 3 years under my blogging belt, I agree.. I feel like I should be repeating my recipes more. I already know they work so why mess with success, right? Although I only have 1.5 years of vegan under my belt but I feel way more confident with my vegan eats now. 🙂

  11. I’ve had my dinner Janet and I still want a bowl of this. Food blogging is a dangerous business.

    Just adding it to the Bookmarked Recipes roundup now 🙂

  12. I admire your determination. I think that sometimes the prize for that is that the result is even better than the original. In any case, at a minimum, you get what you had planned to get. You got me curious to try chana dal, and certainly your stew looks very appealing. Thank you so much for contributing it to My Legume Love Affair!

  13. This sounds super delicious and just the sort of thing I’d love to have for my supper right now. I have the preserved lemon, but no olives. I am continuing the pattern though and bookmarking it.

  14. Loved this! Made it with green split peas. Urad dal will be in my future. Homemade preserved lemon. Yum!

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