For a long time, when I walked through a kitchen store, my eyes were drawn to these interesting cooking vessels painted in every shade of colors called “Tagine”. Until recently I became the proud owner of not any Tagine but the glorious “Le Creuset”. A well worth the wait! Even saying that makes me smile 🙂
The very next day, I was so excited to try my newly purchased cooking vessel and therefore made this scrumptious ” Moroccan Roasted Vegetables and chickpea Tagine”.
What is Tagine?
A word Tagine is both the name of the slow cooked North African dish and the cooking vessel. A Tagine enables the ingredients to cook gently in the steam that builds up inside the lid, so that they remain beautifully tender and moist. If you don’t have a Tagine dish, you could easily prepare this dish in a heavy casserole, or even an oven proof saucepan, as long as it has a lid.
There are few countries in the world with a cuisine as colorful as Morocco’s. Prepared in my new Tagine, this scrumptious “Moroccan Roasted vegetables, eggplant and chickpea Tajine” recipe is packed with nutrition and flavors and is a feast for the eyes before you have even tasted a mouthful.
Tips for making and serving this ” Moroccan Roasted Vegetables and chickpea Tagine” recipe
I like roasting my vegetables for a more depth of flavor. I usually serve it with saffron couscous and cucumber yogurt salad as a side. but you can keep it simple and serve it with only middle eastern pitta bread.
- 1½ cup dried chickpeas
- 2 bay leafs
- Pinch of sea salt
- 3 bell peppers (red, orange, yellow) sliced in medium size chunks
- 2 medium eggplant, cut into 2 cm thick rounds and cut in half
- 1 large zucchini, cut into 2 cm thick rounds and cut in half
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 400g can of organic chopped tomato
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- 1 cup water
- Olive oil, just enough to coat the vegetables
- Pinch of sea salt
- ½ teaspoon cumin Powder
- 1 large yellow onion
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Pinch of saffron
- Handful of parsley leafs, coarsely chopped, keep some for garnish
- To prepare the chickpeas, Cover the chickpeas with room temperature water and soak for 8-12 hours. Ideally, you would soak the beans for several hours before cooking, often overnight, so the beans have plenty of time to absorb water slowly.
- Drain the chickpeas, place them in a large saucepan with the bay leafs, cover them with room temperature water and bring it to a boil, Reduce the heat, cover the pan partially with a lid and simmer until they are well cooked, but not falling apart, adding more water as necessary to keep the beans well covered, add the salt when the beans are close to being done. This can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours. Drain the chickpeas and discard the bay leafs. This can be prepared a day in advance.
- Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius.
- Place the bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini on a large baking sheets. (you might need two baking sheets if one is not large enough). Drizzle with just enough olive oil, sprinkle with pinches of salt, and toss to coat. Spread the vegetables in an even layer, and roast for 35-40 minutes or until they’re all golden and tender,
- flipping the vegetables couple of times during the roasting process.
- Peel and slice the onions finely, in a large Tagine or a heavy based casserole,
- Warm 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, cumin, sweet and smoked paprika, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon stick, saffron, and pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are tender.
- Add the garlic, lower the heat a bit, and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes more.
- Add the chickpeas to the pot of onions along with 1 cup of water. Add the roasted eggplants, zucchini and bell peppers, stir in a can of tomato and lemon juice.
- Bring the tagine to a bare simmer, and cook on a medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Close the lid and cook for 25-30 minutes on a medium low-heat. Once it’s done, Stir in the parsley and. Taste for balance and seasoning, adding more salt or lemon juice if you like.
- Serve with saffron couscous and cucumber yogurt salad.