Vegetable (or meat!) Tagine

When travelling in North Africa, it is one place that I can persuade the gorgeous Mr T to forego the usual meat dishes and take on a fully vegetarian meal.

Despite lacking in any animal protein, the dish certainly doesn’t lack in flavour or the ability to satisfy a healthy appetite.

Notes

Use any mixture of vegetables you have to hand or that are in season.

Please use a ripe tomatoes.

Replace 1 tsp ginger powder with 1.5 tsp freshly grated ginger or 1 tbl freshly chopped ginger. Ginger powder is more traditional but I prefer the flavour of fresh.

Green olives can be added but this will depend on whose eating!!

If you don’t have parsley, don’t stress but you do need the coriander, sorry! Just replace parsley with chopped coriander.

It is traditional to slice the vegetables into similar shaped battons / wedges and to stand these up using the tomato as centre (the same shape as the tagine!)

You can easily convert this to a meat tagine by replacing the tomato in the centre with 250gr of meat (lamb, beef or chicken) but the tagine may require an extra 30-60 minutes of cooking and will need a little extra water. Alternatively, heat some oil in a pot and fry 1/4 of the onions, add meat and fry to brown, season with some salt & pepper and add a little water. Cover tightly and simmer for 30-60 minutes (you can use a pressure cooker) – the meat will not be fully cooked at this stage but there should not be any or much water left in the pot (ensure that it doesn’t boil dry!) then add in place of the tomato and cook as per the recipe

If using a clay tagine without a metal plate fixed on, please use a diffuser to prevent the direct heat from cracking your tagine

And if you don’t have a tagine, then use an ovenproof dish with a lid. It’ll taste a little different because the clay does impart a flavour. But, personally, I wouldn’t miss out on this for the sake of a cooking vessel!

Any leftover tagine (LOL, as if!) can be used to supplement the Harira Soup recipe.

The dish

Serves 2-3 depending how hungry you are

Ingredients

TAGINE BASE
300gr2 mediumOnions, peeled, cut in half & sliced
5-6Prunes, dried
6-8Green olives OPTIONAL
120gr1 mediumTomato, cored and peeled but left whole
VEGTABLES
2Carrots, peeled & halved lengthways
& cut into battons
1/2 large
(or 2 small)
Courgettes, cut into battons
2Turnips, peeled & cut into wedges
1-2 largePotatoes, peeled & cut into wedges
100gr1 handfulGreen beans, topped & tailed
1 Red pepper, seeds removed & cut into wedges
3-4 floretsCauliflower
4 small wedgesCabbage
100gr1 handfulPeas, fresh or frozen
MARINADE
1 tspPaprika
1 tspGinger powder (can use fresh)
1/2 tspTurmeric
1/2 tspCumin
1/2 – 1 tspSalt or to taste
1/2 tspBlack pepper, freshly ground or to taste
1.5 tblParsley, finely chopped
1.5 tblCoriander leaf, finely chopped
3 clovesGarlic, fresh, chopped
1 leafBayleaf, dried or fresh (1/4 tsp ground)
1 pinchCinnamon, generous pinch
FINISHING
5 tblOlive oil
6 tblWater
1 largeRed chilli, mild variety, whole OPTIONAL

Method

Prepare your vegetables.

Prepare vegetables
Prepare marinade and mix together
with 1 tbl olive oil
Mix marinade and vegetables together
until all veggies are evenly covered
Place sliced onions on bottom of the
tagine, place prunes (and olives if using)
on top of onions & tomato in the centre
Using the tomato as support, stand veggie
battons & wedges against it ensuring that
they are even distributed in the tagine.
Scrape any leftover marinade from the
bowl and onto the top of the tagine contents.
Add water and the rest of the olive oil, pouring
over the veggies. Top with chilli if using.
Cover tagine with lid. Place over high heat
and bring up to a boil till the steam is
coming out of the tagine lid hole in a steady
stream. Turn down to a low heat and allow
to simmer for at least 1 -1.5 hours to ensure
that the vegetables are meltingly soft
Open tagine, remove chilli if required
(or eat if brave!) and serve with bread
to mop up the juices

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