Oh my, what a meal! I have made many a Moroccan tagine over the last 10 years or so, but most of those have included lamb as the ‘centrepiece’ of the dish (when I was still eating meat, obviously). When I stopped eating meat, I just used the same recipe but simply omitted the lamb, and added more chickpeas. I used to think it was great, until my husband found this recipe. Holy moly, what a difference it makes to not have to remove the main ingredient! We could really tell the difference, and love that this recipe is made with the focus on the vegies. The spices are amazing, and the blend of sweet and savoury is like a party in your mouth – seriously! You’ll have heaps of leftovers, and it’s even better the next day when the flavours have had time to meld together more, and the sauce is even thicker.
We made this in a tagine, but you could make it in any large saucepan if you don’t have one (but if you don’t have a tagine, seriously, get one – they are amazing, and we don’t use ours nearly often enough, but vow to more often).
PS – Don’t let the long list of ingredients put you off – it’s really not a difficult recipe.
Total time taken: about an hour
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 tbsp shredded fresh ginger
- 500g butternut pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cubed
- 1 tsp each ground cinnamon, cumin and coriander
- 6 green cardamom pods, split open and seeds lightly crushed (this works out to be 1/4 tsp)
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 cans (400g each) no-salt-added chopped tomatoes
- 3 large carrots, thickly sliced
- 300ml salt-reduced chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/3 cup (55g) raisins
- 1/4 cup (30g) sweetened dried cranberries
- 125g okra, each sliced lengthways into 3 strips (we thought they should also be cut crossways, as the pieces were a bit long to fit into our mouths comfortably – we’ll do that next time)
- 1 large red capsicum, chopped
- 1 can (about 400g) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/3 cup (30g) toasted flaked almonds
- 1/4 cup (15g) chopped fresh parsley
- For the cous cous:
- 1 cup cous cous
- 1 to 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 tsp vegetable stock
- 2 tsp dairy-free margarine
- 1/4 cup pistachios, chopped
- 1/4 cup coriander, chopped
- Heat the oil in a tagine, or a very large pan, add the onion and sauté over a high heat for 2–3 minutes or until beginning to soften and colour. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a few more seconds, then add the pumpkin and sauté for about 1 minute.
- Turn down the heat to medium. Add the spices, bay leaves, tomatoes and carrots. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Stir in the raisins and cranberries, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Stir the okra and red capsicum into the stew. Cover again and leave to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the chickpeas and stir. Simmer, covered, for a further 5–10 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender, but still retain their shape.
- While the vegetables are simmering, prepare the cous cous: Add water and vegetable stock to a saucepan, bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add cous cous, and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, and stir through 2 tsp of dairy-free margarine, pistachios and coriander.
- Pile the vegetable stew onto a platter (on top of hot couscous, if you like) and scatter over the toasted almonds and chopped parsley.
Some more ideas:
Apricot and coriander tagine: Replace the cranberries and raisins with 2/3 cup (90g) dried apricots, and substitute halved green beans for the okra. Instead of sprinkling the tagine with parsley, add 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves to the stew at the end of the cooking time and scatter more over the finished dish.
Whole new potatoes can replace the carrots, and red kidney beans can be used as an alternative to chickpeas.
Beans and chickpeas are excellent sources of protein, even better when they are eaten with grains such as wheat (couscous) and rice. Canned versions are a convenient way of including them in the diet with the minimum of effort.
Adapted from: allrecipes.com.au website