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.
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.
Serves 2-3 depending how hungry you are
|300gr||2 medium||Onions, peeled, cut in half & sliced|
|6-8||Green olives OPTIONAL|
|120gr||1 medium||Tomato, cored and peeled but left whole|
|2||Carrots, peeled & halved lengthways|
& cut into battons
(or 2 small)
|Courgettes, cut into battons|
|2||Turnips, peeled & cut into wedges|
|1-2 large||Potatoes, peeled & cut into wedges|
|100gr||1 handful||Green beans, topped & tailed|
|1||Red pepper, seeds removed & cut into wedges|
|4 small wedges||Cabbage|
|100gr||1 handful||Peas, fresh or frozen|
|1 tsp||Ginger powder (can use fresh)|
|1/2 – 1 tsp||Salt or to taste|
|1/2 tsp||Black pepper, freshly ground or to taste|
|1.5 tbl||Parsley, finely chopped|
|1.5 tbl||Coriander leaf, finely chopped|
|3 cloves||Garlic, fresh, chopped|
|1 leaf||Bayleaf, dried or fresh (1/4 tsp ground)|
|1 pinch||Cinnamon, generous pinch|
|5 tbl||Olive oil|
|1 large||Red chilli, mild variety, whole OPTIONAL|
Prepare your 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