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Recipe Jewish Cuisine: Cocido

Cocido - The Spanish Dish with Jewish Roots

Hi and welcome to the second session of Jewish Cuisine Around the Globe!

The cocido is a centuries-old Spanish chickpea-based stew, famously known as The Spanish Dish with Jewish Roots. Join us to learn why!

Over the centuries this simple yet rich dish has varied across regions. In some Jewish communities it was prepared with lamb or goat meat and sometimes included barley or bulgur, often cooked overnight in ovens and was known as adafina.

The version we will be making together is a vegetarian garlicky cocido with garbanzo and spinach served over couscous with parsley. The flavorful stew is spiced with smoked and Hungarian paprika, cumin and cayenne and includes a paste of toasted Marcona almonds and sour dough bread cubes that adds a robust depth to the flavor-rich stew.


Heat 10” skillet over medium to medium high heat. Add oil and allow to heat for a minute or until the oil gets hot, just before it begins to smoke.

Add garlic and spinach. Cook spinach and garlic until just wilted. Take spinach out of the pan and set aside. Add a bit more vegetable oil and add in sour dough bread cubes and Marcona Almonds. Cook until toasted golden brown. Take out bread and almonds and grind into a paste in a blender or food processor.

Add tomatoes to the same skillet, then the bread almond paste. Cook down for about 15 minutes. 

Add the spinach and garlic mixture and then the chickpeas, Hungarian paprika, tomato powder, cumin, cayenne, smoked paprika, and salt & pepper. Cook until thick, about 25 minutes.

Next, make couscous. Heat 2 ½ cups water and butter along with 2 Tbsp kosher salt over high heat. When the water comes to a boil, add in couscous and stir. Reduce heat to medium low – to a simmer. Cook couscous for 6 – 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. When water has evaporated, turn off heat and mix in kosher salt, garlic powder and chopped parsley.

If serving on the same day: remove the sauce and couscous from the heat and enjoy!

If serving the following day: when the spinach chickpea tomato stew is removed from the refrigerator, heat the mixture in a saucepan or skillet. Heat on Medium high heat until desired temperature – about 20 minutes. Re-season the stew as needed. Do not put parsley in couscous if reheating the next day. Heat couscous in a saucepan with ½ cup water and ¼ cup butter and re-season with salt & garlic powder as needed. Before serving, mix in parsley.

Plating: Spoon couscous onto the center of the plate or bowl. Ladle some of the spinach chickpea tomato stew over the top. Sprinkle a little paprika and fresh chives or parsley on top.

Chickpea Dish

  • 10 oz Baby Spinach
  • ¼ cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1/3 cup Chopped Garlic
  • 18 oz Chickpeas, drained
  • 18 oz Canned Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Marcona Almonds (buy here)
  • 2 slices Sourdough bread, without Crusts, cut into 1” cubes
  • 1 tsp Sweet Hungarian Paprika (buy here)
  • 1 tsp Tomato Powder (buy here)
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika (buy here)
  • Kosher Salt to taste 
  • Black Pepper to taste


  • 2 cups Israeli Couscous
  • 2 ½ cups Water or Vegetable Stock
  • ¼ lb Unsalted Margarine
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tbsp chopped Parsley
  • 2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
  • Salt to taste