Mumma’s Dafina

~ 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 beans are just as good ~

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: HIGH 4-5 hours, LOW 6-7 hours
Serves: 4


4 large or 6 small potatoes washed and peeled
1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes washed, peeled and cut into thick rounds
1 onion peeled (reserve the peel for later and see cooks tip below)
4 large garlic cloves washed with the skin left on
1 400g can chickpeas drained and rinsed (or any beans of choice)
1/2 cup of washed barley (optional, omit if you want it gluten free)
1/2 – 1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp ‘beef’ stock powder (I use Massel)
Water (see in method)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp oil
Slow cooker and a large frying pan


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, along with the barley, stock powder, pepper and ground cinammon. Add water to fill the slow cooker but not covering the ingrediants completely. You want some of the potatoes and sweet potato to stick out a bit as this will aid in the caramalisation process. Give the stew a gentle 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. Watch my video linked below to see how.

Cover the slow cooker with the lid and turn it on. You can cook it on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 4-5 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. However, you may need to add a little more water towards the end if you using barley, as it soaks it up.

This dish is best eaten with fresh bread and mustard!

Cooks tip: Carefully peel the onion so that you have at least 4-6 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 and caramalises the potatoes and sweet potatoes. If you have never had this kind of stew before, you may think it strange to have cinammon in it. But I asure you this stew is one of a kind and the cinammon is not over powering at all. It is sutle but the aroma will leave your mouth watering!

If you are viewing this on the WordPress app, unfortunately the above link is not yet supported on WordPress for iOS. You can find this video on my YouTube channel Rita’s Kitchen Remedies or by directly watching it from my website under Mumma’s Dafina.
If you like my recipes and want to see more yummy vegan food content, please consider subscribing to my channel. Thanks! ❤

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