Quadly Cooking

Moroccan Chili with Sweet Potatoes

A friend recently posted a picture on social media of some Moroccan chili. I love trying new flavors, so I commented, “Recipe, please?”

“I didn’t use one.”

What?! I’m am not one of those people who can wing a recipe. So I googled Moroccan chili recipes and found a variety to choose from. As always, I chose bits and pieces of different recipes to come up with one that works for me physically.

Honestly, I don’t know how authentic this recipe is, but it has the flavors of Morocco. And can I just say how incredible my house smells after cooking this?

One ingredient I found time after time in each recipe was harissa. Harissa is a flavorful red chili paste used in North African dishes. At my local grocery store I found it in powder form, rather than a paste. I used 1 tbsp of the powder since I didn’t know how spicy it would be. It ends up the harissa isn’t spicy, but has a very nice, deep flavor – perfect for chili.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion finely diced (I substituted 1 tsp asafoetida. Read more under Tips & Tricks.)
  • 1 pound ground lamb (if lamb freaks you out, ground beef or turkey is an easy substitute)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (or sub 1 tsp asafoetida)
  • 1-2 tablespoon harissa (Moroccan chili paste or powder; I used 1 tbsp of the powder)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Two 15-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium sweet potato peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup broth (I used chicken broth)
  • 2 cups diced bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Optional: I would have like to have added some chickpeas or Cannellini beans, but opted not to for, well, you know… tummy reasons.


  1. In a large pan, brown the meat. (If you are using onions, saute the onions first.)
  2. Add in the bell peppers and allow them to cook while the meat completes browning.
  3. Add in and mix all of the spices and allow everything cook for a minute or two.
  4. Pour in the tomatoes, sweet potatoes, lemon juice and broth, stirring well. Cook over medium high heat until it simmers, then turn down to a low heat, simmering for 20 minutes or more. I allowed it to cook over an hour to get yummier over time.

Tips & Tricks

  • For time’s sake, I have someone dice bell peppers for me, then I freeze them in a Ziploc bag. It’s a huge time saver. (BCIR folks – I took the skin off of mine and things went much better than my previous attempts with peppers.)
  • I can peel my own potatoes with this great OXO GoodGrips Y Peeler.
  • I have a hefty collection of spices. I can reach them all in this nifty, space-saving spice holder.
  • Are you wondering what asafoetida is? In case you’ve not read in previous recipes, it makes a great substitute for both onions and garlic – without any of the stomach upset. You can find it at a local Indian market or here on Amazon.

Read more about My Favorite Things in the Kitchen.