Monday, 7 May 2012

Morrocan Chickpea Tagine

This vegan tagine recipe is based on the root vegetable tagine recipe from The Gate Vegetarian Cookbook by Adrian and Michael Daniel. I added chickpeas as a vegan source of protein and served the tagine with almond couscous.

Tagine (also spelled tajine) is a Moroccan dish which is named after the clay cooking pot that it is cooked in. 
The funnel-shaped lid of the tagine is at a cooler temperature than the rest of the pot, so the steam condenses and runs back down into the stew, keeping it moist.

Beautiful Tagines

You can buy beautiful tagines online, or you can cook this chickpea and squash tagine recipe in a large saucepan - although you might have to add some extra liquid and remember to keep stirring to distribute the heat.

Moroccan Squash and Chickpea Tagine Recipe

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)

Ingredients for tagine

2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp cloves
3 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp ground turmeric
1 large onion, finely chopped
100g grated fresh ginger
1 hot red chili
6 garlic cloves
2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
100g dried dates
1 butternut squash, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 x 400g can of chickpeas
100g fresh spinach, pureed
handful of fresh coriander

Ingredients for couscous

200g (dry weight) couscous
1/2 liter hot vegetable stock
1 tbsp olive oil
50g flaked almonds
small amount fresh coriander

How to make Chickpea Tagine

1. Start by toasting the coriander seeds and cinnamon sticks in the tagine (or saucepan) over a low heat. Once they have started to give off their delicious aroma, take them off the heat and grind using a pestle and mortar (or a coffee grinder).
2. Fry the onion, garlic, ginger, chili, ground spices and turmeric in 1 tbsp of olive oil.
3. Use a food processor to puree the spinach and the dates.
4. When the onions have browned, add the squash, chickpeas, tomatoes, spinach and dates to the tagine (or saucepan). Add enough liquid to make sure that all the squash is covered. Make sure the heat is turned down low, put on the lid, and simmer for 40 minutes.
5. While you're waiting for the tagine to cook, make the couscous by adding dry couscous to hot vegetable stock and covering for 5 minutes. Once the couscous is soft, separate out the grains with a fork to make it fluffy, and stir in the flaked almonds, olive oil and coriander.
6. Once the squash is cooked and tender, add the coriander and then serve the tagine with almond couscous that you prepared in step 5.

This is a deliciously sweet and spicy tagine recipe. Enjoy!

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