Chickpea and Date Tagine Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Chickpea and Date Tagine

North African tagines often combine sweet and savory foods to play off the spices used to season them.



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1 Tbs. olive oil
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1 large onion, diced (2 cups)
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4 cloves garlic, minced (4 tsp.)
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1 tsp. ground cumin
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1 tsp. ground coriander
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1 tsp. ground ginger
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½ tsp. ground cinnamon
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1 15-oz. can crushed tomatoes
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3 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 15-oz. cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
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1 cup whole-wheat couscous
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1 cup pitted dates, halved
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¼ cup lemon juice
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½ cup chopped cilantro


1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and cook 10 minutes, or until starting to brown, stirring often. Stir in garlic, cumin, coriander, ginger, and cinnamon, and sauté 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, and 1/4 cup water; simmer 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, toast couscous in small saucepan over medium heat 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Add 1 3/4 cups water, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 5 minutes.

3. Stir dates and lemon juice into tagine, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve over couscous, sprinkled with cilantro.

Nutrition Information: 

15 g
Total Fat: 
5 g
Saturated Fat: 
<1 g
81 g
0 mg
378 mg
15 g
29 g
Serves 8

Comments on this Recipe

y dont u just say 3 cups of water instead of 13/4?

I suppose instead of a tagine, a covered dish will do?

This rules. Add hot cayenne pepper. I also usually double the spices in ALL recipes, and it made this dish super tasty.

We LOVED this recipe!

This was delicious! Healthy, quick and tasty....what more can you ask for?

Aida, I think the recipe calls for 1 and 3/4 cup water, not 13/4. They just forgot a space to make it easier to read

I doubled the spices and garlic...tasted better as left overs!

Disappointing. It looks so good! Too many onions and they need to cook longer. More spices and tomatoes

I loved this! The cinnamon and dates add unique flavors for something different for dinner. Aida, I think the recipe calls for 1 3/4 cups of water, not 13 fourths.

This, is AWESOME! Everybody who I made it for has really liked it!

Is 13/4 cups of water a typo? Usually that would be denoted as 3 ¼ cups. It's confusing written that way.

I took the advice some of you wrote in the comments and doubled the spices and garlic. It was delicious; I thoroughly enjoyed it last night for dinner, and today as left-overs. I have one question though... I have never been a huge fan of dates because I find them a little too sweet. Instead of throwing the dates and lemon juice in at the end of cooking, what if I soaked the dates for 30 min or so in the lemon juice and then threw that in, would that cut the sweetness of the dates at all? Sweet dates or not, I recommend this recipe 100%! And definitely double the spices and garlic.

I would double the tomato and add veggies. And do 1 1/2 cups of cous cous. And it definitely won't feed 8 as a main dish. MAYBE 4 people with smallish appetites. But it was yummy.

no salt?

First time making a dish like this and I loved it! This dish has a nice sweet and savory combination; the lemon juice elevates the flavor of the tomatoes and spices. Very good dish. Not hard to make and doesn't require a lot of time.

Changes I made to this dish: I used half of an onion, 1/4 tsp cumin and one can of chickpeas. The amount of onion for the recipe seemed like a lot so I used half. I'm not a huge fan of cumin its very powerful and can take over all the other flavors so only used 1/4 of the recommended amount. Lastly, one can of tomatoes was not enough juice for two cans of chickpeas so I cut my chickpea amount in half. I cooked this dish for two and had enough for two more meals. I really enjoyed this dish.

This was amazing! I added frozen spinach, a couple tablespoons of tomato paste, fresh ginger instead of powdered, curry powder instead of coriander, and chicken broth instead of water. I also added the chopped dates right after the tomatoes so that they simmered longer. This was delicious and simple!

Very simple, rather quick, meal. I followed the ingredients entirely except i used Pomi marinara (i won't use canned tomatoes and the store had nothing else in redipak) &amp; had no cilantro for garnish. I added 1/4c chopped dried apricots with the dates. My non-veg husband loved it and asked that I make it regularly! I will search harder for crushed tomatoes for the next time.

AMAZING just the way it is!! YUM!

This is delicious! I omitted cilantro, since I'm not a fan of it, but I made everything else exactly the same. In the future, I will probably use fewer dates since the dish ended up just a little too sweet for me and replace with more chickpeas. The taste is very complex with lots of spiciness, tartness, and sweetness in every bite, but so easy to make.

I cut the dates in half and omitted the cinnamon. I ate it in a bowl with a dollop of non-fat greek yogurt. Awesome! Will be eating it over salads and with goat cheese in the days to come.

Loved it!! We did it with fresh tomatoes puréed in a vitamix, instead of using canned, using 8 organic, greenhouse tomatoes. We also threw in 8 garlic cloves into the vitamix, with the tomatoes, so they puréed at the same time. We tripled the spice amounts, and cut the onion down, using only half a yellow onion. Once the tangin simmered 10 minutes, we added the lemon juice and pink himalayan sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Instead of couscous, we used quinoa. Spooned the cooked tangin over the cooked, fluffed quinoa and then added the chopped dates and cilantro. Absolutely loved every bite!! Very filling with the quinoa, which is a complete protein. Would highly recommend this version! Thank you Veg Times for all the tasty inspirations!

This is delicious and gets rave reviews, even from carnivores.

A wonderful recipe! Instead of using olive oil, the onions can be 'sauteed' in a little vegetable broth or water.

To Erin Owen, there is a space between the one and the three. That is, you add one and 3/4 cups of water -- not 13/4.

I totally agree with the comment below about it not being enough for 8 - barely enough for 4 so make lots. It freezes well anyway if you can resist finishing it up the next day.

made this using finely diced FRESH ginger and doubling the ginger. it WOWED everyone at the party.

Looks good, but why no harissa?

Ainda nao provei. Tem tudo pra ser delicioso!

Very interesting. It's hard to brake down recipes for just one (the very lonely #)


The lemon juice totally overwhelmed everything. We really couldn't taste anything else.

I thought this dish was wonderful! I added lemon juice to taste. Then I finished the dish with kosher salt, fresh cilantro and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. I decided to use crushed tomatoes with green chilies to add a little kick.

This is one of my favorite recipes. Make it all the time.

Anyone know where I can purchase a tagine I have been searching for months. I live in southwestern Ontario

I've made this twice &amp; love it. The second time I didn't have dates, so used raisins &amp; served it over brown rice. It also freezes very well too. Thanks for the great recioe!