Technically, this is not a tagine. The name ‘tagine’ comes from the funnel shaped clay pot that the stew is cooked in, so any stew that is cooked in one of these is a tagine, much like any meal that is cooked all in one pot is called a stew or a casserole in the UK.
This was originally a Moroccan-style lamb tagine recipe but I converted it a few years ago for my then vegetarian boyfriend (same boyfriend but he’s now a vegan). It went down so well that it has become a firm favourite. All I did to change it was to replace the meat with extra vegetables. A lot of stews, casseroles, soups etc can be veganised this way. I like to add thick slices of carrot to give extra ‘bite’ to the texture. Serve with some leafy greens such as kale or broccoli for extra protein and calcium.
As well as being a traditional addition to tagines, apricots also provide small amounts of iron and calcium and just 3 dried apricots will give you 1/5th of your daily requirements of vitamin A. Personally, I like the apricots for their squishy sweetness that adds a subtle balance to the acidity of the tomatoes.
- 2-3 tblsps olive oil
- 1 lge onion, finely chopped
- 1 tblsp ground cumin
- 1 tblsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp crushed black pepper
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 2 tblsp tomato paste
- 475ml vegetable stock/broth
- 2 cans of chickpeas/garbanzo, drained
- 120g dried apricots, chopped
- 60g dried dates, cut in half
- 1 can chopped plum tomatoes
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- a handful of toasted almonds
- 2 tblsps fresh coriander/cilantro, chopped
- Salt and pepper to season
- Heat the oil and fry the onions until soft.
- Add the cumin, ground coriander, fennel seeds, cayenne pepper, crushed black pepper and garlic. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
- Add the tomato paste, cook and stir for 1-2 minutes. Add a drop of the stock if it catches on the pan.
- Add the stock, chickpeas, apricots, tomatoes, cinnamon sticks, carrots and red pepper.
- Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 25-35 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
- Season to taste.
- sprinkle the chopped coriander and almonds over the top when ready to serve.
Like most spicy stew-like meals, this tastes much better the next day. If you are going to do this, cool, cover, and place in the fridge. Re-heat by bringing it to the boil, and then simmering at a medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.