Sweet Potato and Garbanzo Bean B'Stilla

Time for French Fridays with Dorie! Our recipe of the week is Chicken B'Stilla. I switched it up a little bit to make a vegetarian version with roasted sweet potato cubes and garbanzo beans instead of the chicken.

I had never heard of B'Stilla (aka bastilla) until this recipe came up. It is kind of like a Moroccan pot pie with a phyllo dough outer crust and and egg based sauce for the filling. At first I was going to swap out the chicken for red lentils and garbanzos but decided against the lentils since I thought they'd just absorb too much sauce and get mushy.

fragrant spice mixture

Instead I went with diced sweet potato that had been roasted with all of the spices in the recipe that are supposed to be cooked with the chicken. I tossed the potato cubes in olive oil and coated them in the spice mixture before roasting for 20 minutes to get them just tender.

Yum! This is a photo of the spiced and roasted potatoes and they were so delicious, I debated skipping the whole bastilla and just serving the potatoes :)

While the potatoes were in the oven I made the sauce which I think I ended up with too much of. I strained the sauce into a measuring cup and had almost two cups, but when adding the sauce the the sweet potatoes and garbanzos decided to use only half of the sauce, so one cup.

Another tiny change I made was to use pistachios instead of the almonds. I believe the almonds are the traditional nut in this recipe, but I had just run out of almonds and had the right amount of pistachios handy so decided to use those. Pistachios are a common ingredient in Moroccan dishes, so I felt this was an okay substitute.

Filled with the veggies and sauce, ready for the top layer of phyllo...

Buttered and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar...love the savory sweet combo!

The B'Stilla is then baked until golden brown and crispy crunchy.

Here is where I got to have some fun -- while researching bastillas and photos of bastillas I came across a photo of a bastilla from a Moroccan restaurant called Casablanca. The bastilla top was dusted with powdered sugar and had two camels stenciled on the top along with the name of the restaurant. I immediately thought of my camel cookie cutter that I've never used but have had for years. I pulled it out, set it down on top of the baked bastilla and dusted on some powdered sugar. Too fun.

The kids loved the camel. The kids did not love the bastilla :( They had a few bites but were not liking it. Picky husband was working so we didn't have to worry about him. I thought it was delicious and the only thing I didn't really care for was the eggy sauce -- but I know that is a main component of the recipe, and even though I didn't love the sauce, it didn't stop me from enjoying a big slice of bastilla. I loved all of the flavors and would love to make something like this again. While I realize this is no where near a true Moroccan b'stilla, it was still fun to try a vegetarian version and learn about a dish I had never even heard of before.