Vegetable tagine with chickpeas & dried apricots

Slow cooked winter veg with oodles of chickpeas and subtle warm spices

Ingredients

3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated
1-2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seeds
pinch salt
2-3 tsp harissa paste or 1-2 tsp chilli flakes
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes or home-jarred equivalent
1 lemon, juice and zest
a quarter / wedge of pumpkin, washed & chopped into large bite-sized chunks
2-3 carrots, same as the pumpkin
1 zucchini / sweet potato / cauliflower etc as above … (use any veggies you like)
10 dried apricots, snipped or sliced up
1 tin chickpeas (rinsed) or 1-2 C cooked
a handful currants
roasted almonds, fresh coriander, lemon to serve

Method

This week Jesse and I both rocked up to the warehouse with similar African dishes to share for lunch. Both were slow cooked winter veg with oodles of chickpeas and subtle warm spices, and I took it as a sign that this tagine was catching the mood of the moment. We were in sync via cinnamon sticks. Or maybe we were both just feeling the cold. Anyway Jesse won’t need this recipe, but it may be of use to you – it’s very delicious!

 

Vegetable tagine with chickpeas and dried apricots

Use a heavy-based saucepan or cast iron pot with a well fitting lid. Gently heat the olive oil and soften the onion, adding garlic, ginger and spices until fragrant. Next add the harissa, lemon and chopped tomatoes and bring that up to a boil. Chop the veggies nice and large, and add them to the pot along with the apricot and preserved lemon, if using. *(If you don’t have any preserved lemon, it’s very easy to make and now’s the time to quickly stash away a few jars in the pantry – but make extra because it’s easy to find you’ve given them all away).

Give it a good stir, turn down the heat to a low simmer, and cover with a tight fitting lid to keep in all the moisture. The veggies won’t be submerged in liquid, so you want a low heat and no peeking to kind of steam them until tender and delicious. If you feel like they may be sticking, give them a gentle stir at some point but otherwise leave them be. Alternatively you could transfer a cast iron pot to a low oven and bake for 1 – 1.5 hours.

Once everything is tender, gently combine the chickpeas and currants, leaving it on the heat for another 10 minutes to warm through.

If you’re making this in a slow cooker, sauté the first part then when you’re adding all the veggies just transfer it to the pot and let it cook all day – especially if you’ve got great big chunky veggies in there.

Serve with chopped roasted almonds, fresh coriander and a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Adapted from this winner of a recipe by Green Kitchen Stories.

 

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