Saturday, 19 August 2017


A few years ago we went on holiday to Morocco and it was there that I fell in love with one of their most famous dishes, the tagine. Named after the clay pot in which they are traditionally cooked in, there are many regional variations of this slow cooked stew but in my recipe I have taken some of the more classic tagine spices such as cumin, turmeric and cinnamon and used them to flavour a delicious vegetarian broth crammed full with chickpeas and an array of vibrant vegetables to create a truly wonderful meat free feast. 

Now I think this really is a recipe that is designed for the slow cooker. By cooking your tagine low and slow it really does give the spices in the sauce loads of time to really blend together and intensify. You can make a quick version of this recipe in some pans on your hob by simmering the mixture more rapidly over a shorter length of time but trust me, leave this recipe to a day when you have the time to give it the love and attention it deserves and you'll really taste the difference. 

If you don't have a stick blender then I suggest that you maybe use ground cumin seeds in this recipe so that you can still have a relatively smooth sauce at the end of the cook. No one wants to get cumin seeds stuck between their teeth now do they?  Having said that, don't use ground cinnamon instead of a cinnamon stick. Ground cinnamon will be too strong for the broth and make everything taste a bit weird whilst a cinnamon stick gives the tagine a more subtle and balanced flavour which is what you need in order for the combination of spices to work together.

Once you get to the part in the recipe were you start adding the carrots this is where you can play around a lot more with the vegetables so feel free to add in or remove any of the vegetables below if you are not a fan but make sure anything you do add is added at the right time. Firm vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli should be given an hour in the slow cooker whilst greens and leaves like cabbage and kale should be added in at the end and cooked until tender. 

A lot of my vegetarian recipes tend to use Quorn but chickpeas are such a staple over in Morocco that they just make more sense in this dish. Again, if you don't like chickpeas then you can use Quorn or a type of bean such as cannelloni or butter bean instead or of course if you are not adverse to meat eating, add in some chicken or lamb but make sure allow the meat more time to cook.

Recipe below will make enough for four servings when dished up alongside bread and rice. Get cracking on this early in the day so that by the evening you will have a really unctuous flavorsome tagine ready for teatime;

Chickpea and Spinach Tagine

1 Peeled And Chopped Onion
Handfull Chopped Mushrooms
3 Garlic Cloves
1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds
1 Tbsp Ground Turmeric
1 Tbsp Dried Coriander
1 400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes
200ml Vegetable Stock
1 Cinnamon Stick
Salt And Pepper To Season
2 Peeled And Chopped Carrots
4 Cored And Chopped Peppers
400g Tin Of Chickpeas
200g Spinach 

  1. Turn your slow cooker on and pour in 100ml of water. In a lightly oiled pan on a medium heat, lash in your onions, mushrooms and garlic and fry up until the onions have begun to soften
  2. Add in the cumin and turmeric and fry for a minute before adding in the coriander, chopped tomatoes and stock. Give everything a good mix together before bringing to the boil. Transfer the contents of the pan to the slow cooker, add in the cinnamon stick, season with salt and pepper and leave to brew for at least 1 hour but the longer you leave it the betterand more intense the flavors will become! 
  3. Remove the cinnamon stick and then use a stick blender to blend the contents of the slow cooker until a smooth sauce has formed. Throw the cinnamon stick back in, add in the carrots, peppers and chickpeas and leave to brew for another hour.
  4. Add the spinach and slowly mix it through the sauce. Take your time and as you mix the spinach through it will begin to wilt and as it does it will become a lot easier to mix everything together.
With the spinach mixed through you should get that tagine served up straight away so that the spinach doesn't go all sloppy and lose it's vibrancy. Remember to remove that cinnamon stick too! The tagine is great when served up with a side portion of delicious rice and of course, plenty of bread for dipping into that yummy sauce. Flavored with those warm cumin, turmeric, coriander spices that aromatic cinnamon stick, this tagine has gorgeous curry like flavors without any of the spice. The chickpeas add a bit of bite and those veggies are full of so much goodness that this is one cheeky little dish that you'll definitely be coming back for more of!

No comments:

Post a Comment