Mamma’s Dafina

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∞ My mamma’s handed down recipe for this hearty slow cooked Moroccan Jewish stew. Traditionally it is made with chickpeas but cannellini beans and red kidney bean are just as good. ∞

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 4-6 hours
Serves: 4

Ingredients

4 large potatoes washed and peeled
1 large sweet potato washed and peeled and cut into 4 pieces
1 onion peeled and cut in half (reserve the peel for later and see cooks tip below)
4 large garlic cloves washed with the skin left on
1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed (or cannelini or red kidney beans)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ‘beef’ stock (I use Massel)
Water (see in method)
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
Slow cooker and a large frying pan

Method

Add the oil to the frying pan on medium heat and then add the onion, garlic cloves, potatoes and sweet potato pieces to brown. You may need to do this in 2 batches if it doesn’t all fit in the pan. Cook the ingrediants for about 2-3 minutes on each side until they blister and brown (it’s just a quick fry here only a few minutes needed).

In the slow cooker add your beans first and then arrange the browned ingrediants on top. Add water about 3/4’s over the ingrediants so they stick out a bit (you do not want to cover the ingrediants with water completely). Add the stock powder and ground cinammon and give it a stir.

If using the onion peels, place them on top of the potatoes sticking out around the pot. This technique helps to caramalise the potatoes and give it another depth of flavour.

Cover the slow cooker with the lid and turn it on. You can cook it on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours. Or you can even cook it overnight on low if you want it ready for the next day and just set it to ‘warm’ before you go to bed. Let the slow cooker work it’s magic and all the wonderful flavours combine.

A few hours into the cooking give the stew a taste and add salt if needed. The sauce will be a bit watery and that is normal as it not supposed to be a thick stew.

This dish is best eaten with fresh bread and mustard!

Cooks tip: Carefully peel the onion so that you have at least 3-4 big pieces. You may need to peel another onion. Make sure to give the peel a wash to remove any dirt from it. This step is optional however it really adds to the flavour.

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