Vegan 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)
- 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.
- Add the squash, carrot and/or sweet potato and toss around the pan until beginning to soften a bit.
- Add the courgette and cook for a few mins.
- Stir the spices and stir do everything is coated then cook for a couple of mins.
- Add water and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to dislodge any spice that has stuck.
- Add the apricots, chick peas, preserved lemon and transfer to the oven and cook at 180°C for about 40 mins.
- Toss the toasted almonds on top with a few coriander leaves and serve with flatbreads or couscous.