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Vegetable tagine

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Vegetable tagine

By Diana Earnshaw

See also Lamb or Chicken Tagine

Serves 4

A tagine is actually an African cooking pot, but the meals that are cooked in it are now known as a “tagine”. There are many great advantages about these meals. It can be cooked in advance (in fact if left, it allows the flavours to develop more) and frozen if you wish. All you will need to do is prepare some couscous to serve. If you want to eat around the fire, it can be served in a bowl and eaten with a fork. Lastly – it provides loads of nutrients! All-in-all, this is a great meal for when friends are coming over.

I like to use whole spices and grind them myself, but ready ground is fine too. 


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • A pinch saffron strands (optional)
  • Rind of one lemon
  • 2.5cm piece fresh ginger
  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/2 butternut squash, peeled and deseeded, cut into 4cm pieces
  • 500 ml salted vegetable stock
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 aubergine, cut into large dice
  • 50g sultanas
  • 140g chickpeas, soaked overnight and boiled for 1-2 hours or 400g tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Small bunch fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • Small bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp flaked almonds
  • 300g cous cous
  • 300ml boiling water
  • Harissa sauce to serve


Gently soften onion in oil over a low heat for 8-10 minutes.

Stir in ground spices, garlic and ginger, then fry for a further 2 minutes.

Stir in cauliflower, sultanas and butternut squash. Add stock and chopped tomatoes. Add saffron strands if using. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until veg is tender.

Add the aubergines, chickpeas and lemon rind. Cover and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Sprinkle over the fresh herbs and flaked almonds.

In a bowl, cover the couscous with boiling water. Cover with a plate and leave for 5 minutes. Fluff up with a fork. If there is plenty of liquid in the tagine, add a little of this to the boiling water for soaking.

Serve with couscous using some of the liquid from the tagine for soaking. For those that like it hot – also serve some harissa sauce!

This will keep in a refrigerator for a couple of days. It will freeze but won’t be at its best when thawed and heated as the vegetables will be soft.

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