Kristin’s cinnamon spiced Moroccan stew

20th January 2016

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Since arriving home from our American trip a few weeks ago, I have been ‘nesting’ in my home, cooking, baking, moving things about, filing, organising, simplifying, and creating things, all inspired by my stay in Sebastopol and that lingering sense of being held, nurtured and a deep inner feeling of peace I felt there.

This tasty Moroccan stew is inspired by Kristin, who made it for dinner one rainy, chilly evening. I have been making it weekly for Jonathan to take to work and for the children’s school lunches, or in the evenings for a warming, cosy, comforting meal.

This was a recipe Kristin had written down for me and sent by ‘snail’ mail years ago, but I had never gotten around to making it.  So when I arrived home from our trip, I set about rifling through my drawers, walls, cupboards, mirrors, where I have all of her artwork and things stuck – to find it.  I keep all of her letters as they hold such soft, peaceful beauty and the art inside always inspires. She says I am her muse, but she is my teacher, in so many, many ways – I admire her authenticity to this yogic lifestyle and teachings, and her simple living as a householder.  She has the ability to live with such modesty, surrounded by natural beauty as you can see by the images below – but still maintains a balance as she moves in this world.  I am ever grateful to be moving on this path with her.

kristin in windowkristin kitchen windowinspiration kristin house

– Sebastopol, California.

Freshly grind the spices where possible, it makes all the difference to the flavours of the finished dish. The cinnamon and cumin have an exotic aroma, flooding your senses with a ‘little of the divine’.   It is delicious.  Use any combination of vegetables – carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, eggplant, zucchini, beans – all combined to make at least 5 cups of finely chopped or sliced vegetables…

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Kristin’s cinnamon-spiced Moroccan stew with couscous

Serves 4 – 6

for the couscous

2 cups couscous

3½ cups boiling water

½ tsp salt

4 Tbsp ghee/butter

½ cup roughly chopped almonds

for the stew

cup olive oil

2 full tsp cumin seeds

2 full tsp turmeric powder

1 full tsp cinnamon – preferably Indian – a spicy, strong cinnamon

1 full tsp good quality paprika

a combination of approximately 5 cups of finely chopped vegetables – 

1 large fennel/2 sticks celery

1 large red bell pepper

2 large tomatoes

2 small carrots

1 small sweet potato/wedge of pumpkin

1 cup green beans

1 cup pre-cooked chickpeas

1 – 2 cups water

2 full Tbsp jaggery

1  full tsp fine rock salt

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prepare the couscous

1.  In a medium saucepan, place the couscous, ghee and boiling water.  Stir to combine, cover and allow to sit for 20 minutes, undisturbed.

prepare the stew

2. In a small pan, dry-roast the cumin seeds until slightly golden, allow to cool and grind in a mortar and pestle.  Set aside.

3.  Wash, peel where necessary and chop the vegetables into small uniformed pieces, keeping them separate.

4.  Heat the oil in a medium saucepan, and saute the celery and red pepper until soft, add the tomatoes, ground cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and paprika, stir to combine.

5.  Depending on the choice of vegetables, add them bit by bit, adding the starchier vegetables first as they take the longest to cook.

6.  Once all the vegetables have been added, add water and pre-cooked chickpeas, cover and simmer on low until the vegetables are slightly softened.

7.  Season with salt and jaggery, sprinkle with chopped parsley/coriander.

8.  Fluff the couscous with a fork, and garnish with the roughly chopped almonds.

To serve, scoop a generous helping of couscous, a bountiful spoon of Moroccan stew, garnish with more almonds and freshly chopped coriander/parsley.  A few good rounds of pepper, and if desired, a crumbling of feta or grated parmesan.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

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