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Chickpeas and Spinach with Chermoula and Harissa

Erin Baker
  • Serves: 4
  • Preparation: 20
  • Cooking: 40
  • Ready: 60

This Moroccan tagine amps up the flavours by using harissa and chermoula for the sauce.


For the chermoula

  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon harissa, homemade or shop bought
  • 3 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ preserved lemon, roughly chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the chickpeas

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 x 400 g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 200 g baby spinach or larger spinach, roughly chopped (frozen spinach also works well)
  • 4 tablespoons vegan yoghurt

For the harissa

  • 2 fresh red chillies, seeded and chopped (depending on hotness!) or 3 dried
  • 1 small red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon each coriander seeds, cumin seeds and caraway seeds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oli
  • 1 red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • chilli powder to taste, optional


To make the chickpeas and chermoula

Place all of the chermoula ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.

Heat a large frying pan or saucepan with a lid over a medium heat. Add oil and sauté the garlic for about 30 seconds; be careful not to burn it.

Add the chermoula and chickpeas and simmer for 5 minutes, adding 100 ml of water.

Stir in the spinach and cover with a lid. Cook until the spinach has just wilted.

Remove from the heat, stir in the yoghurt and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To make the harissa

If using dried chillies, soak the deseeded dried chillies in 150 ml of hot water, soak for 10 minutes then drain and discard the water.

Place the red pepper under a very hot grill until blackened (15-20 minutes), or blacken on a gas burner. Transfer to a bowl, cover with cling film and set aside. Once the pepper is cool, peel off and discard the blackened skin.

Place a dry frying pan on a medium heat and toast the coriander, cumin and caraway seeds for two minutes or until fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and grind to a powder.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion and garlic over a medium heat until dark and smoky – around 6-8 minutes. Blend with a hand blender or in a food processor with all of the rest of the ingredients, including the now peeled pepper and fresh or soaked chillies. This can also be done with a pestle and mortar.

Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add chilli powder to taste.

Additonal notes

Recipe courtesy of Erin Baker, The Natural Cookery School

This dish is on the menu at The Royal Oak, a freehouse and dining room in Tetbury, serving well-kept regional and guest real ales and delicious organic food. With permanent vegan menu options, plus regular MFM theme events catered by Erin Baker from the Natural Cookery School, the pub is a haven for MFMers!

“Chickpeas and spinach are a match made in heaven. This Moroccan tagine amps up the flavours by using harissa and chermoula for the sauce. Harissa is a Moroccan condiment used widely thought the county and can be quite fiery, but is delicious when made from scratch and the heat can be controlled. Chermoula is a Moroccan marinade that works well in this dish, as a marinade for vegetable skewers for the bbq or rubbed on tofu or tempeh before baking.

Harissa keeps in the fridge for about 3-4 days and also freezes well. I always make a double or triple batch and freeze some for quick meals in the future.”

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