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Vegetable Moroccan Tagine

My favourite part of Moroccan cuisine has to be the contrast between sweet & spicy. I mean who wouldn’t want apricots or prunes in their main course? Our parents for one are not into this whole sweet & sour business. But we love it. This is a quick and easy recipe, much like making any sort of tomato  sauce or stew. But the subtle addition of a few ingredients (like dried apricots – yummy!) makes all the difference. In this particular recipe we used Saffron for that extra bit of authenticity. You don’t have to – it is expensive and actually adds mostly colour more than anything in our opinion.

What better to go with a tagine but its usual side-kick; cous cous. Light, fluffy and works very well.

Vegetarian Moroccan Tagine Recipe

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For the Tagine

  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic or 1 tsp or garlic puree
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp Ras El Hanout spice mixture
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 can tinned tomatoes, pureed in a blender (optional but we prefer a smooth sauce)
  • 250 ml vegetable stock
  • A few saffron stalks
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • Cauliflower florets (about two handfuls or as much as you like)
  • 1 tin cooked chickpeas, drained
  • Fresh coriander , chopped

For the Cous Cous

  • Cous Cous
  • Vegetable stock


For the Tagine

  • Prepare your vegetable stock in hot water and add the saffron to infuse.
  • In a saucepan, add the onions and fry gently in a 1 tbsp oil on a medium heat until softened and caramelised (around 8 minutes).
  • Add the garlic and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the cumin, cinnamon, coriander, Ras el Hanout and cooked for 2 minutes to release the aromatic spices.
  • Add the tomato puree and cook for  a further 2 minutes

  • Add the tomatoes, saffron infused stock, paprika, chilli flakes and butternut squash to the saucepan. The liquid needs to only just cover the butternut squash, you can add more water or stock if you need to.

  • Season with salt & pepper
  • Simmer on a gentle heat for 5 minutes.
  • Next add the apricots, cauliflower and chickpeas and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes.
  • Check the vegetables and be careful your butternut squash does not get overcooked

For the Cous Cous

  • The easiest way to cook cous cous is to follow the pack instructions. The one we get is normally pre-cooked. So you simply soak it in some water for 10 minutes until it puffs up (or use vegetable stock like we did).
  • Then steam it over some water or stock for 10 minutes.
  • Then season with fresh lemon, a knob of butter and salt & pepper to taste.
  • Garnish with chopped apricots and a few sprigs of coriander.


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  1. I almost bought a tagine recently — this looks so tasty!

  2. Jeff

    What size tin of tomatoes is used in this recipe?

    Thanks, It looks quite delicious.

    • Chef G

      400g Tin

  3. Cat

    How many people does this recipe serve?

    • Mongolian Chef

      Roughly two to three people

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