Moroccan Vegetable Tagine

One of the great things about being cook is that there are always new things to explore. And if you’re me, that means that when you run out of ideas, you can just chose a random (or not so random) country and pick a dish. This week, the choice was Morocco, and I decided to be reasonably straight-forward and try a vegetable tagine. Now yes, I am aware that a true tagine requires one of those crazy cooker-thingys, and no, I do not have one. But a saucepan with a lid works just fine, I promise.

Moroccan Vegetable Tagine
1 can chickpeas, rinsed
1/3 onion, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
1 large yellow potato, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 crown of broccoli, chopped
5 large dates, chopped
2-3 teaspoons cinnamon
2-3 teaspoons cumin
1-2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric

Pour some olive oil on the bottom of the saucepan, and saute the onions for 5 minutes or so. Add the garlic, spices, carrots, potatoes, and a little water and simmer, covered for maybe 10 minutes. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, and simmer a bit longer covered, then add the broccoli and dates and let the whole thing cook, partially covered for another 10 minutes or so. Make sure to taste the tagine at each step, so that you get the right balance of flavors for your taste. I had to keep adding more cinnamon and cumin as I went (I started out with just 1 1/2 teaspoon of each and ended up with closer to 3 1/2 of each). When adding spices to something like this, add only a 1/2 teaspoon at a time, that way you won’t over-season. I consider myself a fairly moderate person when it comes to spices – I tend to spice things as much as possible while still being able to taste the underlying ingredients and veggies. I still want a carrot to taste like a carrot. Once the stew is thick, spiced to your satisfaction, and all the vegetables are soft, spoon into bowls and serve.

moroccan tagine

This was an amazing dish. A little complicated with a lot of ingredients, but completely delicious as a result. Super savory, with the dates adding just a touch of sweetness that balances the whole thing out. It also keeps really well and this recipe makes a lot so its great if you want leftovers to bring to work for lunch. I had this with beer, an Oktoberfest to be precise, but if you want to be truly authentic, you probably want to have it with mint tea. Finally, the song of the week is All I Really Want by Alanis Morissette. This actually might be my favorite song by her and I’ve been listening to it a lot lately.

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