Pressure cook/boil the chickpeas with 3 cups of water and a little salt until soft. When done, drain and keep aside. Save the water in which the chickpeas were boiled. Alternatively, you can use 3 cups cooked chickpeas.*
Place the tagine bottom on the gas stove and add oil to it. Allow the oil to heat up. Clay vessel takes a little longer to heat as opposed to modern pans but once hot, they also retain the heat for longer. (See notes on how to cook with tagine)
Add cumin seeds, onion, and garlic. Add salt and turmeric. Mix and cook covered for 3-4 minutes till the onions are softened.
Add the chopped and puréed tomatoes and all the spice powders. Mix well and Sauté for a couple of minutes. Add a little water if required. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes. Occasionally open the tagine and stir the mixture to ensure it doesn’t stick. If you are using a clay pot, some of the mixture will stick and it is okay.
Add in harissa paste (or seasoning powder) and the cooked chickpeas along with 2 cups of water in which the chickpeas were cooked. Mix well and cook covered for 10 minutes till the mixture is thick enough.
Dry roast the sliced almonds lightly in a pan over medium heat.
Before serving sprinkle with fresh coriander (cilantro leaves) and the almonds. Serve with couscous or rice. If you are going grain-free then the chickpea tagine is a great treat as is too!
*I often soak and boil extra chickpeas and freeze the cooked chickpeas instead of keeping canned ones at home.
While this recipe only uses chickpeas, you can also add vegetables to the mix. Add vegetables before adding the cooked chickpeas and allow them to partially cook before adding the chickpeas.
Nutritional information is the approximate information for 1 of 4 servings without couscous.
Care while using the clay or ceramic tagine: To avoid cracking or breaking a clay or ceramic tagine, make sure it sits above the heat source and not directly on it (use a diffuser if you have an electric stove or flat cooktop). Place the tagine over low to medium-low heat and be very patient while the tagine slowly reaches a simmer.