chickpea tajine

Chickpea Tajine Dates and Swiss Chard Recipe

My Chickpea Tajine is chock-full of delicious stuff:

Dates, Swiss chard, almonds. Does this sound fabulous and nutritious or what?

I just spotted fresh dates!

I grin nostalgically at this unusual New York site, as if I had run into a long-lost friend. Which of course I had in a way.
In Morocco the avenues are lined with majestic palm trees. So we only needed to bend and pick up the dates fallen from their branches. What a heavenly treat!
Last week I was shopping for my annual big bash which my husband and I host on the last day of Tishrei Yomtovim. So of course when I spotted the gorgeous dates in neat symmetrical rows on their stems dates, I decided right there and then to give them the rock star treatment. It was all decided: I would make a vegetarian menu, drawing liberally from Moroccan flavor influences. Trust me, this dish needs no meat or poultry, it is really powerful!

Chickpea tajine makes for a very substantial vegetarian main course:

So it is really worth the extra minimal step of soaking the chickpeas and partially cook them before adding them to the remaining faster-cooking ingredients. Still in a pinch I would say OK to use canned chickpeas. In this case, add all the way at the end of cooking.

Play with other leaves to make chickpea tajine:

Spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, etc…


  • 1 cup chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained.
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut in large pieces
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger
  • 1 bunch flat parsley
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, end stems cut off
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 bunches Swiss chard, stems and leaves, sliced thin (other dark leaves will be OK too: kale, collard, mustard
  • 2 cups fresh dates (settle for dry), pitted and quartered
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish: 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds or sesame seeds (substitute seeds if you can't have nuts or seeds)


cook the chickpeas in water 45 minutes. Drain and reserve.

Heat the oil in a heavy wide bottom pot.

In a food processor, grind the  onion coarsely, and add to the pot. Fry the onion on a medium flame until very dark. In a food processor, finely grind the ginger, parsley and cilantro. Add the ground mixture to the pot, plus the cinnamon, and fry 2-3 more minutes. Add the reserved chickpeas plus all remaining ingredients and 2 cups water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the flame to medium and cook, covered, 45 minutes. If the liquid in the pot is too thin, raise the flame and cook uncovered another 2-3 minutes, until the liquids thicken.

Transfer the mixture to a serving platter, and sprinkle with the nuts or seeds just before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

4 replies
  1. Ruth Rosenstein
    Ruth Rosenstein says:

    Thanks so much Levana! I am an editor by training and like to follow recipes exactly…especially yours! This one uses two of my husband’s favorites (chickpeas and brussels sprouts) and I am hoping to try it soon.

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Thanks Ruth, Good catch! I just corrected it. Yes, 2-inch piece ginger. It just goes to show you you can proofread until you get bleary-eyed, and something might still fall between the cracks:-)

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