1. 4 medium-large potatoes (I used Maris Piper variety)
  2. olive oil
  3. 2 shallots, finely chopped
  4. 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  5. ½ level tsp cumin
  6. ½-1 tsp smoked paprika
  7. 1-2 tsp ancho chilli paste, adjust to taste
  8. 400 g / 14 oz quality plum tomatoes
  9. ½ tsp salt, adjust to taste
  10. black pepper, to taste
  11. 1 tsp date syrup or sugar (optional), adjust to taste
  12. a squeeze of lime, optional
  13. 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  14. fresh parsley or coriander, chopped
  15. thick vegan yogurt or vegan sour cream, to serve
  1. Scrub the potatoes well and parboil them for about 15 minutes (from the moment the water comes to the boil again). Once parboiled, drain them and allow them to cool down completely.
  2. While the potatoes are cooling, heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pan. Fry shallots and garlic until shallots are translucent and garlic soft.
  3. Add the spices and ancho chilli paste and coat the shallot and garlic mixture in them. Fry gently for another minute, stirring frequently so that the spices do not burn.
  4. Add plum tomatoes and all their juices into the pan, squashing the tomatoes with a fork. Next add in a can of water (I rinse my can with water) and salt. Allow the sauce to simmer on a low heat, stirring it from time to time until the tomatoes are cooked and the sauce has thickened. Top up with a little more water if the pan gets too dry before the tomatoes have had a chance to cook fully.
  5. Taste and season with more salt (if needed), pepper, sugar and lime juice.
  6. Stir in cooked chickpeas and allow them to warm up. Adjust the consistency of the sauce to your liking by adding a splash more water to loosen it up a bit. If you can, allow the sauce to rest overnight for the flavours to improve.
  7. Heat up the oven to 180° C / 355° F and line a baking tray with a piece of baking paper.
  8. Cut the cooled-down potatoes into halves lengthwise (cut them so that the resulting halves are stable). Using a melon baller or an apple corer, scoop most of the flesh out, leaving about ½ cm / 1/8″ of flesh all over*.
  9. Brush the exposed potato flesh with a little olive oil and season with salt. Bake them for about 20 minutes, then turn the oven up to 250° C / 480° F and move the tray with potatoes up one notch. Bake for another 10-15 mins, until the rims are nicely browned.
  10. Fill each potato skin with the chickpeas. Serve with a dollop of vegan yoghurt, a sprinkle of black pepper and fresh herbs.