Apricot and almond tagine

VeganMoFo-2019-beetVegan MoFo 2019:

Monday 19th: Fall colours – showcase some beautiful reds and oranges for Fall.

I wanted to make a dish using butternut squash, sweet potato and carrot because I love the rich, red-orange colours that mark the end of summer and the beginning of autumn (fall). I based this tagine on one that was cooked especially vegan for me and my fella in Marrakech a few years ago. It was there I was introduced to ras el hanout and I’ve used it in tagines ever since! The key to a good authentic flavour is this north African blend of spices. The name ras el hanout (Arabic: راس الحانوت) means ‘top of the shop’ and refers to a mixture of the best spices the seller has to offer. There is no set combination of spices that makes up ras el hanout; each shop, restaurant or cook has their own favourite mix. Commonly used ingredients include cardamom, cumin, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, allspice, ginger, chilli, coriander, paprika, fenugreek and turmeric.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 500g butternut squash, carrot and/or sweet potato, peeled and diced (slice the carrots)
  • 6-7 baby courgettes or one large, cut into chunks
  • 2-3 tsp ras el hanout
  • 200ml water
  • 120g dried apricots, soaked in hot water for an hour or so
  • 1 preserved lemon, finely chopped
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and fried until just beginning to brown
  • 2 tbsp almonds, toasted in a small pan
  • 1 small handful of fresh coriander, chopped (reserve some for garnish)


  1. Melt the oil in a heavy-based pan (or a tagine) over a medium-low heat, then add the onion and cook until soft and golden.
  2. Add the squash, carrot and/or sweet potato and toss around the pan until beginning to soften a bit.
  3. Add the courgette and cook for a few mins.
  4. Stir the spices and stir do everything is coated then cook for a couple of mins.
  5. Add water and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to dislodge any spice that has stuck.
  6. Add the apricots, chick peas, preserved lemon and transfer to the oven and cook at 180°C for about 40 mins.
  7. Toss the toasted almonds on top with a few coriander leaves and serve with flatbreads or couscous.


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