Inspired by a visit to North Africa and of course, my countless visits to the Moroccan pavilion at EPCOT I have always been curious about cooking in a tagine. Thanks to my wonderfully thoughtful daughter, I now have the opportunity! She gave me this beautiful tagine for my birthday purchased from Sur La Table. For those not familiar, a tagine is a ceramic or clay slow-cooking pot popular in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. The bottom is a wide, circular shallow dish used for both cooking and serving, while the top of the tagine is distinctively shaped into a rounded cone. Tagines are traditionally heated over charcoal and eaten communally. Diners gather around the tagine and eat by hand using pieces of bread to scoop up the vegetable and sauce.
The first step was to cure the tagine by coating it with a light layer of olive oil and baking it for 2 hours at 200 degrees. I put this recipe together by taking suggestions from other recipes and asking around at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market. As a plant based gal, my tagine meals will be vegan!
Vegetable Moroccan Tagine
- 3 cups of diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp each coriander and cumin
- 1/2 tsp red pepper
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 5 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 eggplant, diced into 1 inch cubes
- 1 zucchini, diced into 1 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup diced olives
- 2 Tbsp honey
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped mint
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas (or from the can)
You can serve over rice, couscous, bulgur, quinoa or any grain you prefer. I chose bulgur and it was wonderful! I was amazed at how easy and quick it was to create an impressive meal. You can add or subtract any vegetables you like. Many recipes call for oil, but I do not consume oil so I omitted it. The steam in the tagine keeps the moisture level perfect. After serving, the tagine cleaned quickly and easily with soap and warm water. It turns out, the tagine is not only a fun and flavorful way to make a meal it is also a worldly addition to my kitchen counter!