Moroccan Vegetable Tagine

I have no idea how we have managed to keep this dish from you guys for so long. I have been using the same recipe for years and it is one of those dishes that always whispers in my ear: “Hey, why don’t we see each other more often?”. It’s a rich, warm and comforting dish, similar to a stew or a hot pot. It’s sweet, yet a little spicy. It has a scent of cinnamon and sweet raisins with a twist of lemon and cilantro. Not to mention, it’s perfect for a cold winter day.

Let me quickly explain the tagine (or tajine). It is similar to a large clay pot with a conical lid. I am not a scientist, but as far as I understand the moist and flavors that evaporates from the food stays within the lid and – thanks to its shape – drips down back into the food. So the food is steamed in it’s own vapors and cooked/baked at the same time, isn’t that just groovy!? The result is incredibly tender vegetables filled with flavors.

With all this explained, we have to admit that we actually didn’t cook this version in a tagine (we have made it in a tagine before though). This time we used a regular clay pot. It doesn’t give the exact same result, but with a couple of tricks you will get pretty close.

A few simple secrets to a successful tagine.

1. Always balance the sweet (apricots, raisins and cinnamon) with the spicy (harissa or chili).

2. Think big. No need for fine chopping, use large chunks of vegetables. Looks better, tastes better.

3. Don’t stress it. Let the vegetables sweat for a long time on low heat under a lid.

4. No peeking. If you lift the lid the steam will vanish. If you however have to lift the lid, make sure that the vapor under it drips back into the pot.

5. Stir carefully. After a while the vegetables will be very tender and you don’t want to crush them.

Moroccan Vegetable Tagine
Serves 4 people 

You can use almost any kind of vegetables in this stew, it’s perfect for emptying the fridge.

3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch fresh ginger, minced (or 1 tsp grounded)

1-2 tbsp grounded cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
salt

2-3 tsp harissa paste (or dried harissa)
2 cups canned chopped tomatoes
1 lemon, juice and zest

a handful fresh cilantro
1 small pumpkin, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 zucchini, cut into 2-inch pieces
10 dried apricots
1/2 cup chickpeas/garbanzo beans, pre boiled
a handful raisins

Serve with: white quinoa or couscous, roasted almonds, fresh cilantro and fresh mint

In a clay pot: Heat olive oil in a large clay pot and sauté the onion for a few minutes until it softens. Add garlic, ginger and the spices and stir around before adding harissa, tomatoes, lemon juice and fresh cilantro, Bring the tomato sauce to a boil and then lower the heat.
Add pumpkin, carrots, sweet potato, zucchini and apricots. Stir around, make sure that all vegetables are somewhat covered in tomato sauce. Put the lid on and simmer for about an hour. Stir carefully once or twice, otherwise leave the lid on.

In a tagine: Prepare the tomato sauce according to the instructions above. Transfer it to the tagine. Add the vegetables, attach the lid and put in the oven on low temperature for at least an hour. When the vegetables feel tender, add chickpeas and raisins and let everything simmer for 5 minutes before removing it from the oven.

Serve the tagine in bowls together with cooked quinoa. Sprinkle with almonds, lemon zest and fresh spices.

59 Comments

  • Isabella
    Just made this and it was amazing!! So flavoursome and delicious!fed 4 adults with plenty leftover for tomorrow! The soft sweet raisins and apricots were so yum! Thanks for posting this recipe! It will become a staple in our household now!
  • Lindsay
    Absolutely *loved* this recipe - didn't have a tagine but it was still amazing! This recipe also makes enough to have leftovers for a number of days which was great.
  • Krissi Kernot
    I'm going to make this tomorrow. Yes nice nails, shame about the dummy the little girl is using, still it keep the orthodontists in business, if the mother is that bothered about protruding teeth.
  • Bobby
    I just love tagine, it's so easy to make with pretty much any vegetables you have (and meat, if you want). I often make something very similar for friends, but without the potatoes and courgette and with more pumpkin, and I always get raving reviews. For those who don't have a tagine - you can usually find them in Arab shops. Here in Amsterdam you can buy them in almost every Arab supermarket and they cost about 15-30 Euro (depending on the size). I strongly recommend it - it looks and feels much more authentic :)
  • sophie
    does this freeze well? looks amazing and can't wait to make!
  • Steph
    I made it yesterday (with only 1 can tomatoes as I forget to buy another one but I ended up with 3 servings, we were 2, perfect). It was delicious!
  • Made this recipe and it was fantastic! Was my first time having tajine. Definitely a great hearty option for veg-heads. Made it in a crockpot w/ just a few changes: https://buffandbleu.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/crockpot-vegetable-tagine/
  • I knew this was a winning dish the moment the spices, garlic and ginger hit the pan - that smell!! I've just created your beautiful recipe for a crowd of thirty and I love that even for that number it didn't feel like too much hard work - nice chunky veg, not too many tear-inducing onions, with just occasional stirring it didn't stick, and I didn't need to add any salt/stock powder for it to taste flavoursome and delicious. Thank you!
  • Briony
    Just made this for tea tonight and was totally delicious...significant other half loved it! I came across your site after a link from Deliciously Ella and your recipes are just fab...can`t get enough :)
  • Carolyn
    Hey guys! I'm thinking about making this recipe next week, but I don't have a tagine or a clay pot -- do you think that a crock pot slow cooker will work just as well?
  • Made this last night and it was sooo delicious! Already looking forward to the leftovers today :)
  • Jessica
    Made this tonight and it was fantastic! Even managed to win over my meat-loving parents! Really beautiful and comforting flavours. Served it with bulgur wheat, Italian parsley and Mint and was delicious :)
  • Every recipe I try of yours becomes a favourite! Just made this for dinner tonight and it turned out wonderfully. I especially love the opportunity to use my big Brazilian clay pot. The big chunks of tender veg, fruity accents and warming spices....looking forward to leftovers tomorrow! P.S. I kept everything pretty much the same except I subbed prunes for apricots (my Mum had eaten them all before I got to making this!)
  • I'm trying out this recipe tonight! I've made kofte tagine before, but my audience for tonight is vegi so I think this will be perfect!
  • Marta
    How would, could this be adapted to work with a crock pot?

Leave a comment