Lightly Spiced Vegetable Tagine

There is nothing quite like a warm tagine with some lovely fluffy cous cous. This is a filling, nutritous dish and you don’t have to have a clay tagine to make it. Like most of the dishes that I post, the vegetables you use are up to you and you can experiment. This is definetely a dish that can be prepared beforehand and so great for when you finally can have friends over again! A handful of black olives really add something to this dish and a sprinklng of finely chopped parsley before serving will make it very appealing to the senses.

1-2 x tbsp olive oil
1 x lge onion – chopped
2 x cloves of garlic – grated
1 x lge carrot – large cubes
1 x lge potato – large cubes
1/2 x sweet potato – cut into large cubes
2 x cups of large cubes butternut squash (peeled)
1 x tbsp ground turmeric
1 x cinnamon stick
1 x tsp ground ginger
1 x tsp harrisa paste
pinch of saffron strands (if you have)
1 x 14oz tin of chopped tomatoes or passata
1 x 14oz tin of chick peas
handfull of black or green olives
2 x tsp honey
2 – 3 x cups of vegetable stock
Salt & Pepper to taste
(optional additions: peas, green beans, cauliflower, turnips, spinach etc.)

In a large cassrole pan, add in the olive oil and heat to a medium heat. Add in the onions and saute gently until starting to soften. Now add in the grated garlic and all the spices and cook for a few more minutes until you can smell the spices.
Now add in the potato cubes, diced carrots and butternut squash (cut them big enough so that they don’t disintegrate while cooking). Stir to make sure they are combined with all the spices. Add in your vegetable stock, honey, salt & pepper and chopped tomatoes. Cook on a high heat for about 7-8 minutes and then reduce the heat, put the lid on and cook for another 15 minutes. You can now add in the sweet potato chunks if using (it cooks much quicker than the other veggies) and the chick peas – test after about another 10 minutes with a knife – you want the veggies to soften but now breakdown. Add in the olives and do a taste test – add more salt & pepper and check liquid levels.
Put the lid on tightly and turn off the heat – leave to rest for 5 – 10 minutes. If you have a decorative tagine, transfer the mixture to it or a nice decorative dish will do just as well. Sprinkle with finely chopped parsley.
Serve with couscous and fresh soft pitta breads. Comfort food at its best! 🙂

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