Eating a Morrocan Vegetable Tagine is such a wonderful way to finish up a rainy or cold day. The steamed vegetables that have been slowly cooking in a spiced broth using a moroccan tagine will warm up your body in the most delicious way.
A tagine or tajine is, as well as the name of the dish, the name of the pot in which it's cooked. Tagines are made out of clay and consist of two parts: the round base which is filled with vegetables and broth and a cone-shaped lid to keep the steam inside allowing the veggies to slow cook.
Tagines are normally prepared with meat, but this vegan version is really tasty and filling so you won't be missing the meat. Our vegetable tagine is made with potatoes, fresh vegetables such as aubergine, pepper, onion, carrots and tomatoes, chickpeas, salty black olives, preserved lemons and a spiced broth that brings the whole dish together. We serve our Morrocan vegetable tagine with a mouth-watering tahini sauce.
Apart from the tahini sauce, the ingredients used in this recipe are really cheap. A vegetable tagine is a great way to feed the whole family a healthy meal at a really low cost.
How to prepare the Moroccan Vegetable Tagine
Assembling the Tagine
The best part of making a tagine is to create different layers with the vegetables and the chickpeas. You can get really creative choosing the vegetables you want to cook and the different layers that you want to add to the tagine.
All you need to do is cut the vegetables you are using, and form the different layers. The vegetables are best to cut into big chunks as they will be cooking for a long time. They will look and taste better!
When making our vegetable tagine, we add Morrocan black olives which are really salty and preserved lemons in between some of the vegetable layers to give our tagine a unique taste. The olives give the dish and the broth the perfect saltiness while the preserved lemons add a touch of tanginess. Some people like adding dried fruits to add some sweetness as well.
Cooking the Tagine
Once the tagine is filled with your favourite veggies and pulses, the most challenging part is done.
Next step, is to prepare the spiced broth that the veggies will be cooked in. A tasty broth is the key to making a delicious tagine as it is what will flavour all the veggies.
Fill a jug with hot water and add Ras el Hanout, turmeric, cumin seeds, chili flakes, salt and a dash of olive oil. Mix well, and pour the broth into the tagine. Ras el Hanout is a spice mix, meaning that you can get a really good quality one containing more spices or a cheaper one that will be less flavourful.
Preheat the oven to 150C. Cover the tagine with the lid and leave it cooking for at least an hour. The tagine needs to be cooked at a low temperature for a long time. While cooking, try to not open the lid as the steam will evaporate and it can impact the flavour of the dish.
While the tagine is cooking, prepare the tahini sauce and the side dish to be served with your meal.
To prepare the tahini sauce, simply combine tahini with lemon juice and water and mix well until desired consistency.
To serve with our tagine, we love some freshly baked bread such as flatbread or Whole Wheat Pita Bread. Other options would be serving the tagine with couscous (not gluten-free), rice, quinoa or any other type of grain.
Tips for making the best Moroccan Vegetable Tagine
- Use a tagine pot. I know it sounds obvious, but so many recipes for tagine are cooked using a dutch oven. You can, of course, cook a lovely stew using a dutch oven, but I recommend you to use a proper tagine when making this Morrocan dish. You can find Tagines in some pottery shops, middle-eastern shops or online.
- Use good quality spices. The broth will define the taste of your dish, so you want to be using good quality spices when making a tagine.
- Slow cooking. One thing we love about making tagine is that once the tagine is filled and ready to put in the oven, you can leave it cooking and do something else, whether it's preparing the side dishes or simply relaxing while you wait for your meal to cook. The oven will do the rest of the work. Leave the tagine cooking at a low temperature for a long time. We recommend to leave it for at least an hour at 150C. You can keep it cooking for longer, at a lower temperature.
- Do not open the tagine while cooking. The shape of the tagine has a scientific explanation. The steam slowly rises to the top of the lid where it converts into liquid again as the temperature lowers. The little drops will fall on your veggies releasing the flavour. So the vegetables will be cooking in their own juice. If you open the lid, the steam will be released and it could impact the final flavour of your dish.
- Serve hot. Once the tagine is ready, serve it while hot.
Moroccan Vegetable Tagine
- 3 medium-size potatoes
- 1 red onion
- 3 carrots
- ½ aubergine
- 1 red pepper
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1 preserved lemon
- 1 cup black olives
- 500 ml hot water
- 1 ½ teaspoon Ras el Hanout
- 1 ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
Ingredients for the Tahini Sauce
- ½ cup tahini
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 150C (fan-assisted oven).
- Prepare the vegetables cutting them into big pieces and transfer them into the tagine pot creating different layers.
- Pour the hot water into a jug and mix in the Ras el Hanout, turmeric, cumin seeds, chili flakes and salt.
- Pour the broth into the tagine and cover with the lid. Leave cooking for 1 hour at 150C without opening the lid.
- To prepare the tahini sauce, mix in the tahini with the lemon juice and keep adding cold water until desired consistency. For serving on top of the veggies, we like the consistency to be creamy and quite thick.
- Serve the tagine with bread or couscous and tahini sauce on the top.