Friday, 2 March 2012

Vegetable & chickpea tagine

I don’t know how about you but I can smell the spring in the air. It is getting warmer, the nights are pulling out, I find it much easier to wake up in the morning and go back home with more energy after long day at work when there is still some daylight. New house gives me a lot of energy, even at the beginning it took a lot away from me. Now I am back and running again – cooking our favourite dishes. 

I hope I will have enough time, energy and patience to practice more with my camera, especially now when I have “Plate to Pixel” book that gave a lot of new thoughts and ideas on how to use my camera more efficiently. Again new house helps a lot – it has decent windows and faces south, so I do get much more daylight comparing to the old place. I would recommend this book by Helene Dujardin of the excellent and well known Tartelette blog to anybody who is not a professional photographer and wants to take better photos of food. Food wise I am not so keen on meat recently. I go through my vegan and vegetarian cook books in hope they will inspire me, so yes – there will be more meat free recipes on this blog in next few weeks. It seems like my body needs something else than hearty meat stews that we had quite often this winter, or perhaps I just can’t wait the spring veg and fruit season. 

Today I will serve you a bowl of very aromatic and tasty vegetable… Well… Tagine? To be honest I still do not have this special dish, even my best friend was rather amazed my kitchen is lacking this piece of equipment. Well, it is still on my wish list and I will get it one day.  So I made this Moroccan inspired dish using an ovenproof dish, can I still call it tagine?  Anyway, roasted vegetables are one of my favourite ones, their flavour and aroma is so intensified by roasting they amaze me every time I eat them. Spiced up by some aromatic spices are even better (if you have ras-el-hanout mix spice do not hesitate to use it – I run out of mine, so used several spice). Everybody who thinks the vegetables are boring (I know few people who actually think this way!) should be sent a bowl of this lovely tagine. 

 Serves 3-4 

2 tbsp neutral oil  
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped  
about 2cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 small red chilli, finely chopped  
¼ tsp turmeric
½ tsp sweet paprika  
1 tsp ground cumin  
1 tsp ground coriander  
small piece of cinnamon bark
2 onions, peeled and each cut into 8 wedges  
3 carrots, peeled and chopped into large batons
3 parsnips, as above
1 medium swede, as above
3 medium potatoes, as above
1½ cup of boiled (or canned, drained) chickpea
about 125ml dry red wine (I used shiraz) 
tsp of honey  
400ml can of chopped tomatoes  
400ml water or vegetable stock  
10 prunes  
freshly ground black pepper  
almond flakes and chopper parsley or coriander to garnish (optionally)

Heat the oven to 150 C. 

In an ovenproof dish with a lid heat the oil and add the garlic, ginger and chilli and fry for about one minute, stirring. Next add the turmeric, coriander, cumin, paprika, stir and fry until the spices are very fragrant. Add the onions, carrots, parsnips, swede, potatoes, chickpeas, stir and add the honey and wine. Let it boil for a while until almost all wine is evaporated. Next add the tomatoes, water (rinse the empty tomatoes tin) and the cinnamon bark. Season with salt and pepper, stir, and add the prunes then cover.  Place in the oven and roast it for about 1½ hour.  Check with a knife if the vegetables are cooked through, adjust the roasting time accordingly. 

Sprinkle with some almond flakes and chopped parsley or coriander just before the serving. You can serve it with bread or cuscus, but this already is quite filling dish due to the potatoes.

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