Kristin’s cinnamon spiced Moroccan stew

20th January 2016


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’. Use any combination of vegetables – carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, eggplant, zucchini, beans – all combined to make at least 5 cups of finely chopped. Cooking times may vary depending on how big or small the vegetables are cut.


Kristin’s cinnamon-spiced Moroccan stew with couscous

Serves 4

for the couscous

1½ cups/270g couscous

2¾ cups boiling water

½ tsp salt

4 Tbsp ghee/butter

¼ cup roughly chopped almonds

for the stew

cup olive oil

2 heaped tsp cumin seeds

2 flat tsp turmeric powder

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

1 heaped tsp good quality paprika

a combination of approximately 5 cups of finely chopped vegetables – 

2 sticks/100g celery

1 large/220g red bell pepper

2 large/260g tomatoes

2 medium/200g carrots

1 small/105g sweet potato/wedge of pumpkin

1 cup/130g green beans

2 cups water

¾ cup/90g cup pre-cooked chickpeas

2 heaped Tbsp jaggery

1  heaped tsp fine rock salt

a handful of chopped parsley or coriander


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. Add the turmeric, cinnamon and paprika – set aside.

3. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan, and saute the celery and red pepper until soft, add the tomatoes, and spices, stir to combine and saute for a minute.

4.  Add the carrot and sweet potato, water and pre-cooked chickpeas, simmer for 7 minutes, then add the green beans, cover and simmer on low until the vegetables are slightly softened 8 – 10 minutes.

5.  Season with salt and jaggery, stir in the chopped parsley/coriander.

6.  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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