Eating a Moroccan Vegetable Tagine is such a wonderful way to finish up a rainy or cold day. The steamed vegetables that have been slowly cooked in a spiced broth served with a simple but mouth-watering tahini sauce will warm up your body in the most delicious way.
What is a Tagine?
A tagine or tajine is, as well as the name of the dish, the name of the clay 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 conical lid to keep the steam inside allowing the veggies to slow cook.
Tagines are normally prepared with meat, but this Vegetable Moroccan Tagine is really tasty and filling so you won't be missing the meat. This one-pot vegan meal is made with potatoes, fresh vegetables such as aubergine, bell 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 that comes together in less than two minutes.
Our Moroccan Vegetable Tagine is:
- A Moroccan-style dish
- A main
- One-pot meal
- Easy to prepare
How to prepare our Moroccan Vegetable Tagine
Fresh vegetables. The best part of making a Vegetable Tagine is that you can any veggies that you already have in the fridge or pantry. Our recipe uses eggplant or aubergine, red peppers, onion, carrots, potatoes, and tomatoes but feel free to add any other fresh ingredients you have such as zucchini, sweet potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, fresh ginger, etc. We have tried many different veggies when making this meal and haven't found yet a vegetable that doesn't go well in it!
Protein. We love adding canned chickpeas or garbanzo beans to our Tagine recipe as the main source of protein. We have also tried adding canned lentils or beans, which works really well, or other plant-based proteins such as tofu or seitan.
Black olives. Moroccan olives are the best for this recipe, but you can use other similar types such as Kalamata olives.
Preserved lemons. You can buy or make your own preserved lemons. We have a lemon tree at home so every year we make two big jars of preserved lemons that we use for making Tagine or other recipes such as this chickpea salad. If you want to make your own preserved lemons, we recommend checking Rainbow Plant Life's recipe. If you don't have preserved lemons, you can add a good drizzle of lemon juice and serve the tagine with some lemon zest on top.
Dried fruits. Optionally, you can add dried fruits such as dried apricots, golden raisins, or dates, to add a subtle sweetness to the meal.
Spiced broth. This is my favorite part of making a Tagine, the spiced broth. It is really simple to make, comes together in two minutes, and makes for a delicious meal every time. Our spiced broth for the tagine is a combination of Ras el Hanout, turmeric, cumin powder, a pinch of salt, water, or stock, and if you want to make this dish mildly spicy, chili flakes.
How to cut the vegetables for a Tagine
When making a Moroccan Vegetable Tagine, you will want to cut the vegetables in big chunks, as they will be cooking for about an hour. If you cut your vegetables too small, they may overcook.
Assembling the Tagine
Making a tagine is fun, and I always involve our son Luca to help me. Once you have prepared the ingredients, you just need to create layers with the vegetables and 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.
Cooking the Tagine
Once the tagine is filled with your favorite veggies and pulses, the most challenging part is done.
Next, is to prepare the spiced broth that the veggies will be cooked in. A tasty broth is key to making a delicious tagine as it is what will flavor all the veggies.
Fill a jug with hot water or vegetable stock, 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 (300F). 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 cone-shaped lid as the steam will evaporate and it can impact the flavor of the dish.
How to make the Tahini Sauce
Tahini is basically a sesame seed paste. You can buy it already made or make your own. If you want to make your own Tahini paste, you can check this Easy Tahini recipe from Inspired taste.
Tahini sauce comes together in 2-3 minutes and is creamy, flavourful, and healthy. It is an oil-free sauce packed with protein from the sesame seeds. To prepare the tahini sauce, simply combine tahini paste with lemon juice, salt, and water and mix well until you have a creamy sauce.
Our Vegetable Tagine is a complete one-pot dish that can be served for lunch or dinner as a main dish.
We love serving some freshly baked bread such as flatbread or Whole Wheat Pita Bread with the meal.
This Moroccan stew can be as well served with couscous (not gluten-free), rice, quinoa, or any other type of grain.
Keep any leftovers in the fridge and reheat using a microwave or the oven.
FAQ and Tips
Use a tagine pot when possible
You can, of course, cook a lovely stew using a dutch oven, but I recommend you use a proper tagine when making this Morrocan dish. You can find Tagines in some pottery shops, middle-eastern shops, or online. I guarantee you that you will be using it really often!
Slow-cook your tagine
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 leaving 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 a Moroccan Tagine
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 flavor. So the vegetables will be cooked in their own juice. If you open the lid, the steam will be released and it could impact the final flavor of your dish.
Can I use other spices for this tagine recipe?
Yes, feel free to experiment with other spices such as coriander powder, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, harissa or harissa paste, five-spice powder, fresh herbs, etc.
Moroccan Vegetable Tagine
- 3 medium-size potatoes
- 1 red onion
- 3 carrots
- ½ aubergine
- 1 red pepper
- 2 tomatoes
- ½ can chickpeas
- 1 preserved lemon
- 1 cup black olives
- ¼ cup dried apricots
- 500 ml hot water or vegetable stock
- 1 ½ teaspoon Ras el Hanout
- 1 ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes optional to make this dish mildly spicy
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
Ingredients for the Tahini Sauce
- ½ cup tahini
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 150C or 300F (fan-assisted oven).
- Peel and slice the potatoes into 1cm thick slices (about ½ inch).
- Peel the onion, cut it in half, and finely slice it.
- Peel the carrots, and slice them in half or quarters depending on the size.
- Slice the aubergine into 1cm thick slices (about ½ inch).
- Cut the bell pepper into big chunks and cut the tomato into big wedges.
- Place the vegetables into the tagine pot creating layers.
- Rinse and add the canned chickpeas to the tagine.
- Add the preserved lemon finely chopped and the black olives. Finely chop the dried apricots and add to the pot.
- Using a kettle or a pan, bring water to a boil. 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, add a dash of olive oil, and cover with the lid.
- Leave cooking for 1 hour at 150C (300F) without opening the lid.
- Serve the tagine with bread or couscous and tahini sauce on the top.
- To prepare the tahini sauce, mix in the tahini with the lemon juice, and salt, and keep adding cold water until desired consistency. Whisk the mixture until there are no lumps and you have a creamy sauce. For serving on top of the veggies, we like the consistency to be creamy and quite thick.
|If you tried our recipe, please leave a comment or tag us on Instagram @Sixhungryfeet. We are always happy to see your creations!|