Here’s my healthy Moroccan vegetable tagine recipe that you might like to try out. I wanted to find a nice North African dish. And it’s an example of how to use the ras el hanout mix I blogged about recently.
Actually, I pilfered the basis of this recipe from a cookbook by Kris Dhillon. It’s called Curries and Spicy Dishes for Your Slow Cooker. Check it out if you have a slow cooker. I don’t have one, which is why I poached the basic recipe and modified it for the stove instead. There’s not a lot of difference, but obviously cooking times are shorter if not using the slow cooker. And since a normal pot is not sealed, you’ll need more liquid, as a lot evaporates away.
Many of the Moroccan style dishes I have tried are very fragrant and spicy, but without being overpoweringly hot. This vegetable tagine is no exception. It contains some cayenne pepper, and you can add more or less depending on your own taste. There’s also a nice sweetness to this cuisine because of the common addition of fruit.
Let’s get started.
- oil, 2 tbsp
- red onion, sliced
- garlic, 3 cloves, sliced
- ginger, 1 inch cube, finely chopped
- piece of cinnamon stick, 1 inch
- turmeric, 1 tsp
- salt, to taste (approx 0.5 tsp)
- hot water, 750ml (1.25 pints)
- cayenne pepper, 1 tsp
- carrots, 2 sliced in half lengthwise, then diced
- potatoes, diced
- chickpeas, 1 x 400g can drained and rinsed
- golden sultanas, 2 tbsp (or use raisins, prunes or chopped dried apricots)
- Ras el hanout, 1 tbsp
- ground black pepper, 0.5 tsp
- honey, 1 tbsp
- fresh coriander leaves, chopped
How to Make Your Healthy Moroccan Vegetable Tagine
First, get the pan or wok hot and add the cooking oil. Then add the onion and fry until softened and beginning to brown slightly.
Next, add the garlic, ginger and cinnamon stick. (Or if you forget to add the cinnamon stick here – like I did – you can add it later! The aroma and taste still permeates the dish wonderfully.)
After a couple of minutes or so, add the tumeric and salt, followed by the hot water. Then add the cayenne pepper and stir to mix the ingredients.
To complete this phase of the recipe, add the potatoes, carrots, chickpeas and golden sultanas, bring to a gentle simmer and then cover the pan.
Adding Some Spice
Continue to simmer gently for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan. The level of liquid will concentrate down somewhat during this time, and this will intensify the flavour.
I found the carrots and potatoes were not quite soft at this point. Add the ras el hanout, the black pepper and the honey. Stir them into the tagine, put the lid back on and continue simmering for a further 30 minutes.
During this last phase of cooking, prepare whatever else you like to eat with this delicious vegetarian tagine recipe. I just made some boiled basmati rice, flavoured with a small piece of cinnamon stick, a whole clove and a couple of green cardamom pods.
You could serve couscous instead or flat breads for a more Moroccan vibe. At the end of cooking the tagine, turn off the heat and add a couple of tablespoons of fresh coriander (cilantro). Stir it into the recipe.
Finally, serve up the tagine and garnish with some extra coriander to brighten it up and add extra colour.
It’s the first time I’ve made this one myself, and it was pretty tasty. Let me know in the comments how yours turns out!