A rich, vibrant and spiced stew inspired by a traditional Moroccan tagine - it's salty, sweet and perfectly spiced.
Moraccan tagines (the dish) are typically cooked in tagines (the earthenware pots). The unique flavour that the clayware imparts to the food being cooked is nearly impossible to replicate using any other cookware. With that in mind, I wanted to create a dish which was inspired by the rich and deeply savoury flavours of a traditional Moroccan tagine, but that could be easily made at home without the traditional tagine pot. I found dutch ovens brought me closest to that goal, as they trap heat - creating steam and moisture - in the same way that tagines do.
Traditional tagines can be cooked both over the stove and in the oven, which is something I was aiming to be able to do in this recipe as well. Although the recipe outlines to simmer the tagine on low heat for around 30 minutes, you can also transfer the dutch oven into the a pre-heated oven (to 160˚C) after sautéeing the onions with the spices, and let it cook for around 45 minutes.
3 tbsp olive oil
1 white onion, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp harissa
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp salt
350g carrots, sliced 1-inch thick
1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
600ml vegetable stock
100g apricots, sliced
10g fresh parsley
½ cucumber, thinly sliced
1 lemon, sliced
Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot (such as a dutch oven) over medium heat. Add sliced onion and sauté for 6-7 minutes, until translucent. Add minced garlic and continue sautéeing for 2-3 minutes.
Add cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, harissa, tomato paste and salt, stir to combine and let cook for 3-4 minutes, until the paste has darkened and is sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Add sliced carrots, drained chickpeas and 600ml vegetable stock. Simmer over low heat with the lid on for 25 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for 10 more minutes, until the carrots are tender. Half way through, add the sliced apricots.
In the meantime, prepare the couscous according to the package instructions. Divide the tagine between four bowls, along with the couscous. Top with fresh parsley, thinly sliced cucumber and a slice of lemon.
Valentina is our Food Creative, who dreams up our tasty dishes and recipes for our social channels. She has loads of experience cooking up a storm in Italian kitchens, so it’s no surprise she can’t live without good-quality olive oil (don’t come between her and her olive oil) and fresh pasta.