Thursday, 17 April 2014


I've always loved a good tagine. A couple of years ago we had the pleasure of actually heading of to Agadir
in Morroco and to be there and eat some of their fantastic dishes was a dream. It's a flavor that I'd never be able to replicate, I don't have years of experience making them or old family secrets to work with. However, I've taken ideas from many sources and I've devised the recipe below which is not only quick to make, it's low in calories and a great way to get a taste of Morocco in your kitchen with a minimal amount of fuss - that's the way the MattyB rolls!

My recipe uses dried chickpeas which I've soaked overnight before boiling up in the day. I much prefer using these rather than tinned as they have a nice bite to them but if you don't have the time or forget to prepare them in advance a 400g drained tin of chickpeas will work just as fine. If your not a chickpea fan you could always replace them with some lamb pieces or Quorn chicken style bits if your veggie.

The remaining bulk of the dish comes from the spinach which is added near the end. I love spinach but I know a lot of people are put off by it for some reason so if you don't want to add spinach swap it for another veg of your choice. Something earthy like carrots or courgettes would work well but make sure you add them in with the onions so they cook through in time. Experiment, find what's best for you - that's the joy of cooking!

Chickpea and Spinach Tagine

1 Diced Red Onion
3 Garlic Cloves
1 Tbsp Ground Cumin
1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Ground Turmeric
1 Tbsp Coriander Leaf
1 400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes
200ml Vegetable Stock
1 Cinnamon Stick
200g Chickpeas
200g Spinach 

  1.  In an oiled pan on a medium heat, lash in your onions and garlic and fry up until the onions have begun to soften
  2. Add in the all the ground spices and coriander leaf and fry for a minute and let the beautiful smell of all the spices fill your kitchen.
  3. Next, throw in the chopped tomatoes, stock and cinnamon stick and give everything a good mix before bringing to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
  4. After the 30 minutes, throw in the chickpeas. Bring the mix back
    up to the boil and then reduce back down to a simmer again for another 15 minutes. 
  5. Finally - sit the spinach on top of the mix and begin to slowly mix the spinach through the sauce. Take you time. As you mix the spinach, it will begin to wilt and as it does it will become a lot easier to mix everything together.
  6. Season with salt and pepper and serve as it is or on top of a big portion of rice or cous cous for that Moroccan vibe!
 If you really want to go for the authentic tagine taste try experimenting with apricots or raisins in the recipe - it's not really a taste I go for so I couldn't really recommend when to add them to the recipe but do give it a go if it's a combination you enjoy!

A deep and warming spiced dish which is great on a gloomy day - close your eyes and let the different flavors and aromas whisk you away to the Maghreb!

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