Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced (1 heaping tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and chopped (about 1” piece)
  • 1 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • (best with individual spices, or may use 3 tsp curry powder instead of coriander, turmeric, & cinnamon)
  • Pinch of saffron (optional but oh so good)
  • 1 medium butternut or kabocha squash or very large sweet potato, peeled & in 1” cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 1 small eggplant cut into 1” cubes, or small head of cauliflower (about 2 cups)
  • 3-4 medium carrots, peeled and cut in bit size pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 28-ounce can organic whole tomatoes (no salt if desired)
  • 1 15-ounce can organic chickpeas
  • 1/2 seedless raisins
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 lemon—use strips of peel made with a peeler. In the Morocco, they use preserved lemon.
  • Parsley, mint or cilantro

This wonderful dish brought back great memories of North Africa. Having spent three weeks on an 1,800 mile road trip in Morocco, I saw the cone-shaped tagine pots on braziers everywhere, including at road-side stands. Most were meat based, but some were vegetarian or vegan. The flavors varied greatly, but offered a base of North African spices, a bit of fruity sweetness, and often the crunch of a scattering of nuts on top. Make this, and adjust the seasonings to your taste and personal flare. As with many stews, this is even better the next day.

Inspired by Chef Carole Levy, N.Y. on Chef AJ interview
Can be doubled, using a 8 qt pot, and frozen for future meals

In a 6 quart heavy pot, dry saute onions (adding a touch of broth as they brown to prevent burning) until translucent, stirring regularly so that the onions do not stick. Add garlic, ginger, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon (or curry powder instead) and saffron (if using). Stir and add a touch more broth. Cook 2-3 minutes to toast the spices, being careful not to brown too deeply. Add all of the chopped veggies, and tomatoes with juices, breaking them up lightly as you add them. Add 2 1/2 cups of stock, (or more, if you want more liquid), chickpeas, lemon peel and raisins. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, cover and cook the vegetables until they are tender, 30-35 minutes. Transfer to serving bowls, top with fresh herbs and pomegranate seeds and/or toasted nuts.

Possible additions to add at the end. Stir in during the last 5 minutes:
Pitted green olives (Castelvetranos).
Preserved lemon (use just a little)
2 teaspoons harissa (North African hot chili pepper paste); optional for a bit of heat and more spicePomegranate seeds
Toasted slivered or chopped almond or pistacios (scatter on top after plating)

 

Watch me make this recipe:

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