Chard Chick Pea Stew Finnish-Tunisian Style

My mom grew Swiss chard (mangoldi in Finnish) for the first time this summer at our country house, and we have eaten a lot of it with Heikki. One of our new favorites is this recipe, which I adapted from a recipe for a vegetarian version of Tunisian sahel. Unfortunately chard is not generally available in grocery stores in Finland, so probably we’ll have to wait until next summer to have this again. Chard could of course be replaced with another leafy vegetable, something form the Asian market nearby we visit frequently, maybe.



Here are the ingredients:


  • 5-6 really big Swiss chard leaves, stemmed, rinsed and torn into large pieces

  • 3 large cloves garlic, sliced

  • 1 onion, cubed finely

  • 1 big tomato, cubed

  • 2 dl cooked or canned chick peas (drained)

  • 1 dl oat milk, or plain soy milk

  • ½ dl dry white wine

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1-2 teaspoon ground coriander

  • ½ teaspoon jeera (cumin powder)

  • ½ teaspoon hot crushed chili

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • a pinch of cinnamon

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

First, we steam the chard leaves for about 4 minutes, until tender but not mushy. Then we put the chard in a colander to drain and cool down a bit:


Then we set the chard on a cutting board, and cut coarsely with a knife. The garlic and the tomato got cut while chard was cooling:

To cook, we heat the olive oil in a frying pan, and fry cubed onion until it is translucent. Then we add garlic and other spices and fry them for a minute or so. After this, all the other ingredients (except for the lemon juice) are added, and the stew can cook on mild heat for 10-15 minutes. We have this with jasmin rice that Heikki makes in the rice cooker, but I think the Tunisian version is a meal on its own. Before serving, we adjust the taste, squeeze some lemon juice on the stew, and that’s it.

Swiss chard is the most beautiful of the leafy vegetables, in my opinion. The city of Helsinki even uses it as a part of their flower beds!


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