Warmly Spiced Quinoa Chickpea Stew with Figs

Food Network Canada
4 servings

This dish is a cross between a casserole and a stew. It is cooked stove-top, much like a stew, but is much more like a casserole in texture. The quinoa and chickpeas are simmered with warm, earthy spices, and balanced with the sweetness of dried figs and sautéed fennel. Recipe by Dreena Burton.



Tbsp olive oil
cup onion, chopped
cup red pepper, chopped
cup fennel bulb, diced (first remove core and stalks from bulb)
large cloves garlic, minced or grated
tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
tsp curry powder
tsp fennel seed
1 ½
tsp paprika
tsp dried basil
tsp cinnamon (rounded)
tsp freshly ground nutmeg
tsp allspice
cup white wine
cup quinoa, rinsed
cup chickpeas (rinsed and drained if using canned)
1 ½
cup water
dried or fresh bay leaf
cup dried black mission figs, chopped (or dried apricots, chopped or can use raisins, whole)
1 ½
Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (to drizzle, for finishing, optional)
cup pine nuts or pistachios (optional)


Step 1

In a large pot over medium heat, add the oil, onion, red pepper, fennel, garlic, salt, pepper, curry powder, fennel seed, paprika, dried basil, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Stir through, cover, and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add wine, bring to a boil and let boil for a couple of minutes.

Step 2

Then add quinoa, chickpeas, water (start with 1 ½ cups), and bay leaf and stir through. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium/medium-low, cover and let cook for 18-22 minutes.

Step 3

Once quinoa is cooked, and most of the liquid is absorbed, stir in dried figs, remove from heat and let sit for 3-4 minutes. If the liquid is absorbed but quinoa isn’t tender, add an extra ¼ cup of water and cook another few minutes.

Step 4

Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if desired. Serve, drizzling individual portions with olive oil and a sprinkling of nuts if desired.

Step 5

Note: If you don’t have red pepper, you can substitute chopped carrot, or even chopped celery – though the celery won’t be as sweet or add bright color to the dish.

Step 6

Note: After this dish is cooked, keep it covered before and after serving portions. It will get a little dry if left uncovered. Also, as it stands, the heat from the pot will continue to cook the quinoa and so it will absorb more water and get drier. If needed, have some water boiled in your kettle, so you can stir a couple of tablespoons before getting a second helping!

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