(yield 4-6 servings)

The tagine:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 average sized onion, diced

4 garlic cloves peeled and sliced (sprouts removed if necessary)

1 ½ cups chickpeas, soaked overnight in filtered water and sorted

1 average sized sweet potato, boiled till tender 

2 small red jalapeno, seeds removed

3 tbsp minced fresh ginger (save peel for couscous broth)

2 mild banana peppers, seeds removed

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander seed

1 tsp mace leaves

1 tsp fennel seed

½ tsp sweet paprika

½ tsp peppercorn

2 lemons (save peel of 1 for couscous broth)

1 ¾ cup peeled and diced tomatoes, with their juice

1 ½ cups leftover chickpea broth

Fresh cilantro


Preheat oven to 350º F.

Sort out the brown or darkened chickpeas (as they will cook bitter) and put them in compost.   Cook the hydrated chickpeas in 4 cups of salted water.  Allow the water to boil for at least 4 minutes before adding sea salt and chickpeas.  It is important to boil out the chlorine and other chemicals in Atlanta water.  Simmer the chickpeas for at least 45 minutes (skimming off the foam) and longer if you like them more tender.  Try one before completing the cooking and remember that they can sometimes firm up again when added to the stew.  Drain, saving stock and set aside.  
Carefully peel the outside of your local sweet potato being careful not to tear away too much of the exterior meat (as it is very high in nutrients).  Slice your sweet potato and toss with one tbsp little olive oil and salt and roast for about 20 minutes until they become somewhat firm again and dry on the outside (having absorbed the olive oil).  Set aside.

Warm remaining 2 tbsp olive oil in 3 quart heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic and 2 tsp of sea salt.  Turn the vegetables over with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes then add the peppers and ginger.  Reduce heat to low or simmer, cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes.  
Toast cumin seed, peppercorn, coriander seed, and mace and fennel seed in a skillet or saucepan that is on a low to medium temperature.  You want the seeds to pop and toast just a little but be very careful not to burn.  Toasting will set free the oils and flavor.  Grind in mortar or coffee mill.  Add them to the garlic and onion mixture and stir until they get sticky (1 minute), then add tomatoes and sweet potatoes, chickpeas and 1 ½ cups of reserved chickpea water.  Reduce the heat to low simmer, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes until thickened somewhat but not too thick.  Ideally you want the tomato sauce to be somewhat loose with broth so it will soak into the couscous.

Adjust the seasoning with salt and fresh lemon juice to taste.  Serve with cilantro garnish.

Braised mustard greens with toasted black mustard seed and garlic (do this part last)

1 large bunch mustard greens (stems removed and saved for couscous broth)

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 large garlic cloves thinly sliced

2 tbsp toasted mustard seed


In large stock pot bring 5 cups of water to boil.  Add salt.  Add mustards and quickly drain and squeeze out remaining water.
In a skillet on medium heat, toast mustard seeds for about 3 minutes until the pop a little.  Set aside.
In the same skillet add olive oil and garlic and sauté for about 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
add mustard greens, seeds and salt and sauté lightly (for about 3 minutes) making sure they don’t overcook, loose color and get tough.  
serve immediately


14 oz organic couscous

14 fl oz hot vegetable stock

1 tbsp olive oil

Boil water and add the leftover ginger peel, mustard green stems and peel of 1 lemon.  Simmer for 2 minutes (like making a tea).
place couscous into a solid ceramic or stainless steel bowl and add the hot broth while filtering the stems and peels out through a mesh strainer.
seal bowl immediately with a secure lid or plastic wrap. Set aside for 4-5 minutes until broth has absorbed and then with your fingers and the palms of your hands, gently loosen the grains.  Couscous needs to be light and fluffy, not wet and sticky.