If you love hot food, this is a fabulous alternative to an Indian curry with very different flavours. I tend to use ratatouille veg (peppers, courgettes, tomatoes, garlic, onions and aubergine) but you could use just about anything.
If you are going to be making it for a group of people some of whom might not be keen on hot food you can make up a bowl of harissa paste mixed with chopped tomatoes and put less harissa in the actual tagine.
What do you need:
A good mix of veg, say:
- 2 courgettes
- a pepper
- a large onion
- 2-3 cloves of garlic (or as much as you like)
- one large aubergine (I like to slice this up and salt it to extract any bitter juices – you can then rinse and squeeze it hard so that it doesn’t need so much olive oil to cook)
- a can of chick peas
- you can also add beans, carrots, corn, potato, sweet potato – whatever you want
For the sauce:
- two tins of chopped tomatoes
- large teaspoon of cinnamon
- teaspoon of cumin
- teaspoon (at least) of harissa paste (you can usually get it in supermarkets though the staff often don’t know where it is or what you’re talking about – it comes in a tube or a small glass jar usually)
- two small preserved lemons – cut up small (skin and all) with the pips taken out (this is my personal touch and I love it, but you can leave them out if you wish or if you can’t find them – I think they add a great fresh note)(you can make your own very easily here is a link)
- about 10 dried apricots (soaked for a couple of hours)
- lots of olive oil
- Couscous or rice to serve
What do you do?
- Chop the onions small and sweat them in a big saucepan with the oil. After a bit, add the peppers, courgettes and aubergine. Allow the aubergine to soak up some of the oil.
- Then add the cumin and cinnamon – fry off for a minute (this brings out the flavours of the spices)
- Add everything else and let it simmer for at least 40 mins.
- Serve it up with steamed couscous.
Yum. Enjoy. Fiona
PS If you like this you might like to also check out this.
Photos were taken in the Green Valley Grocers – our village co-operative.