I've been to Morocco and tasted the vegetarian Moroccan cuisine and loved it! I would like to explore much more of Morocco, but in the meantime thanks to 150 Best Tagine Recipes by Pat Crocker, our family officially cooks vegetarian cuisine in our Tagine most of the time. A favorite is spaghetti squash with lots of red sauce :). We even hosted a party where we cooked in the Tagine and it was alot of fun!
Here are some Tagine facts:
* Tagine is a dish from North Africa named after the special earthenware pot in which it is cooked (formed entirely of a heavy clay, which is sometimes painted or glazed).
Note: I bought a quality Tagine made for gas stoves.
* The cover is designed to promote the return of all condensation to the bottom. With the cover removed, the base can be taken to the table for serving.
* Tagines in Moroccan cuisine are slow-cooked stews at low temperatures, resulting in aromatic vegetables and sauce.
* Moroccan tagines combine a medley of ingredients or seasonings: olives, quinces, apples, pears, apricots, raisins, prunes, dates, nuts, with fresh or preserved lemons, with or without honey, with or without a complexity of spices.
Here's a recipe for you to try, and let me know what you think? Let us know if you have another recipe to share.
Lentil Almond Tagine from 150 Best Tagine Recipes by Pat Crocker
2 Tbsp (30 ml) avocado or olive oil
2 onions, coarsely chopped
1 fresh hot chile pepper, chopped (I used jalapeno)
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp (15 ml) sweet paprika
2 tsp (10 ml) Bahrat Spice Blend (see below)
1 cup yellow, red or brown lentils, rinsed
1 can (19 oz/540 ml) diced tomatoes, with juice
2 cups (500 ml) diced pumpkin or squash
1/4 cup (60 ml) ground almonds
2 cups (500 ml) shredded swiss chard
1/2 cup (125 ml) toasted whole almonds
In the bottom of a flameproof tagine (or dutch oven), heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, chile pepper, bell pepper, paprika and spice blend and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add lentils and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice and bring to a boil.
Cover with tagine lid, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until lentils are tender. Add pumpkin and ground almonds, replace lid and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in Swiss chard, replace lid and simmer for 5 minutes or until greens are wilted and pumpkin is tender. Garnish with whole almonds.
Makes 4 servings. May be frozen.
Bahrat Spice Blend:
2 Tbsp (30 ml) coriander seeds
4 tsp (20 ml) cumin seeds
1 piece (1 inch/2.5 cm) cinnamon, crushed
5 whole cloves
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) cardomom seeds
2 Tbsp (30 ml) paprika
1 tsp ground sumac, optional
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) ground nutmeg
In the bottom of a small tagine or frypan, combine the coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Toast over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly colored and fragrant. Remove from direct heat just as the seeds pop; do not let the spices smoke and burn.
In a mortar and pestle or electric grinder, pound or grind the toasted spices until coarse or finely ground. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the paprika, sumac (if using) and nutmeg.
Store in an airtight (preferably dark) glass jar with lid in a cool place for up to 3 months. Makes 1/4 cup (60 ml).