Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Morrocan Tagine (Vegetarian)

The Morrocan lambshank tagine which I served with rice for my husband
The vegetarian Morrocan tagine was D-I-V-I-N-E!

A couple of months ago I while visiting friends, I was served a ready-made Vegetarian Moroccan Tagine. The hostess always goes the extra mile to accommodate my vegetarianism and which is one of the reasons why I love this lady dearly. Even spending many years in West Africa where Moroccan influence is strong in restaurants, I never came across this dish before.
A tajine or tagine is a North African dish, typically a slow cooked stew, named for the special type of pot it's cooked in.

Once I got home, I decided to look up the recipe and make it for myself. I also made a meat tagine with Lamb shanks for my husband.
The two main ingredients in a tagine are usually meat and dried fruit. This vegetarian twist uses chickpeas as the protein element.

Vegetarian Tagine

2 tablespoons olive oil
½ red onion, thinly sliced
½ white onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, lightly toasted and ground
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 red chillie, seeded and finely chopped
3 cups canned tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
 1/3 cup /2 oz dried apricots, soaked overnight, drained and sliced
¼ cup/ 1 oz raisins, soaked overnight and drained
½ cup/ 3 oz black olives, pitted
1 large potato, cut into wedges
1 cup/8 oz diced carrots
½ small cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
2 ½ cups chickpeas/ 410g tin, drained
Bunch parsley

Heat half the oil in a large saucepan. Add the red and white onions, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and chillie. Cook gently for 10 minutes until onions are soft and transparent. Add tomatoes and tomato paste and cook for a further 10 minutes. Add carrots, olives, potatoes, apricots and raisins. Cook slowly for a further 45 minutes until carrots are tender.

Heat remaining oil in a wok and stir- fry cabbage until tender. Add drained chickpeas and a toss to mix. Season with salt and black pepper. Add to vegetables above and mix through. Garnish with parsley and serve on couscous.

Serves 4

Note: My husband isn’t crazy about “different” food such as this. I had to serve it on rice though; he refused point blank to eat the couscous. He ate half of the portion of lamb shank tagine on his plate, just to please me. (Emily LOVED it the next day!)


  1. Jo, that looks soooo divine ! (I would've joined you on the vegetarian one - yum !) I have never eaten Morrocan food, you don't really find it here. I've seen it being cooked on BBC Food channel though, and the special clay pots with clay lids they cook it in. LOL re. your hubby with the Cous Cous - sounds like mine ! (Mine calls is "Rabbit food") LOL

  2. Hi Lynda, yes, this is sumptious fare. I enjoy it because it is "rich" sounding and really full-bodied yet it's not stodgy or heavy. Everytime I look at the photo, I think mmm, I wish I was having it for my dinner tonight. The tagine dishes are made of clay and have a funny pointy lid. I'll look out for this when I next go to a speciality shop. However, I'll make this recipe when I'm alone again - it freezes well, too. Yep, hubby said : Nooo to cous-cous. I thought yours would too... Hugs Jo

  3. The first and only time I've had tagine (chicken) was at a restaurant near my home. Such a wonderful full bodied taste. I have to try making one of the versions sometime, esp. now that winter is on the way :-) Yours look divine.


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