Spiced Green Vegetable and Chick-Pea Stew


  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 leeks, trimmed, sliced and washed
  • 2 celery stalks, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Β½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Β½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Β½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • Β½ teaspoon mixed spices
  • 175 g (6 oz) green beans, topped, tailed and sliced, if necessary
  • 175 g (6 oz) Savoy cabbage, shredded
  • 1.15 litres (2 pints) vegetable stock or water
  • 400 g (14 oz) drained canned chick-peas, or soaked and cooked chick-peas


Gently fry the first three vegetables in the olive oil in a saucepan or casserole. Sprinkle on the spices, and stir these in. Add the green vegetables and stock, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the chick-peas, and cook for a further 10 minutes. Chop the coriander, and stir in before serving. Broccoli, kohlrabi and cauliflower can also be used in the stew.

To Serve

fresh coriander, olives, toasted almonds and raisins – for garnish

Heap the couscous on to a platter or a shallow bowl, arrange the grilled vegetables around it, and garnish with olives, coriander leaves, almonds and raisins.

The stew is served separately and eaten with the couscous and grilled vegetables. Harissa, the hot chilli sauce, is the usual accompaniment – a little on the side, to be added to each mouthful. It is usually sold in colourful blue and yellow tubes under the name Cap Bon. If you buy it in small cans, transfer the contents, once opened, to a small plastic or glass container. I keep it in the refrigerator where it seems to last almost indefinitely.