This incredibly rich, full-flavoured vegan tagine starts life as a few humble ingredients. Other types of stews where similar ingredients are simply chucked in a pan are missing out on so much - it's the roasting of the vegetables, then the gentle simmering all together with the delicate spices in the oven that creates the richness of flavour and consistency that this tagine has in abundance (it's the same culinary chemistry principles that makes this roasted vegetable ratatouille so good). The addition of good quality Ras el Hanout is important to really make the dish stand out - it's a North African blend of spices available in most large supermarkets amongst the spices or world food sections, essential for any tagine recipe. This dish freezes really well so you can easily double-up on the ingredients and stock up some portions in your freezer for a healthy, vegan, warming pick-up on a rainy day!
Recipe note - I'm not the biggest fan of dried fruit in savoury dishes, so I've replaced dried apricots with some date syrup - this provides even more richness and a subtle touch of sweetness, without having chunks of chewy dried fruit. It's just a personal preference but feel free to use 2-3 Tbsp chopped dried apricots instead if you prefer.
Rich Vegan Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Tagine Recipe
Ingredients (serves 4):
2 Tbsp cold-pressed rapeseed / olive oil
1/2 a large butternut squash, cubed to 1-2cm pieces*
1 small aubergine (eggplant), cubed to 1-2cm pieces
4 Shallots, sliced
5 tsp Ras el Hanout
1 red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp Harissa paste
250ml vegan stock (reduced salt)
1 x 400g tin good quality chickpeas
2 large good quality tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 tsp date syrup / treacle
Handful fresh coriander (cilantro)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 packet Oumph! vegan chunks
To serve - cook 28g dried cous cous and 28g dried quinoa as per packet instructions then mix them together.
* I like to wash the squash and leave the skin on - it adds another texture to the dish and helps prevent the squash falling apart (which can happen if freezing and reheating)
Preheat oven to 180C.
Rub the cubed butternut squash with 1 Tbsp of the oil plus 2 tsp of the Ras el Hanout, scatter on to a baking tray and roast in the oven for 10 minutes.
Add the cubed aubergine and sliced shallots to the roasting tray, mix everything around, and roast for a further 15 minutes, until the vegetables have browned a little and are tender.
In your tagine (a casserole dish with a lid works fine), heat the other Tbsp of oil over a medium heat and fry the onion for 5 minutes, adding the garlic for the last 2 minutes.
Add the remaining 3 tsp of Ras el Hanout and continue frying for a further 2 minutes to release the aromas of the spices.
Stir in the harissa paste, then add the tomatoes, chickpeas, hot stock and seasoning. Stir in the roasted vegetables, the date syrup (or treacle), then cover with the lid and place in the oven for 20 minutes to simmer.
Now remove the dish from the oven and add the Oumph! chunks, straight from the freezer. Stir, then cook in the oven for a further 5-10 minutes.
This vegan tagine goes brilliantly with a 50/50 mix of couscous and quinoa. Simply cook 28g dried couscous and 28g dried quinoa as per packet instructions then mix them together. I also made some quick roasted pitta chips (simply cut up some wholewheat pittas, rub with a little olive oil and dried mixed herbs, then roast for about 10 minutes until crunchy)!
Nutrition (per serving with a portion of couscous / quinoa mix):
Protein: 28.9g (Women: 57.8% / Men: 52.5%)
Iron: 7.4mg (Women: 50.0% / Men: 85.1%)
Calories: 552 (Women: 27.6% / Men: 22.1%)
Sugars: 16.2g (Women: 18.0% / Men: 13.5%)
Total Fats: 10.6g (Women: 15.1% / Men: 11.2%)
Saturated Fat: 0.9g (Women: 4.5% / Men: 3.0%)
Salt: 1.2g (Women: 20.0% / Men: 20.0%)
Fibre: 19.9g (Women: 66.3% / Men: 66.3%)
See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.