Seven-vegetable tagine

Seven-vegetable tagine

New Middle Eastern Food
Mark Roper

This Moroccan classic makes a superb vegetarian main course. Serve with onion jam and green harissa broth in a separate jug, for each person to help themselves. A bowl of rosewater-flavoured yoghurt cheese or basil tzatziki on the side, although distinctly un-Moroccan, is also delicious.


Quantity Ingredient
240g couscous
2 medium carrots, scraped and cut into wedges on the angle
1 small butternut pumpkin, peeled and cut into 2 cm dice
2 small turnips, peeled and cut into wedges
2 small parsnips, scraped and cut into batons
1 small eggplant, cut into wedges
500ml vegetable stock
1 medium zucchini, cut into wedges on the angle
100g chickpeas, soaked overnight and cooked until just tender
4 small waxy potatoes, boiled until tender, peeled and halved
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 tablespoon crushed dried chillies
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cardamom pods, seeds removed, crushed
1 garlic clove, crushed with 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lemon, juiced
100ml olive oil
2 teaspoons rosewater
Onion jam, to serve
Yoghurt cheese, to serve

Green harissa broth

Quantity Ingredient
2-3 tablespoons Green harissa, or to taste
400ml vegetable stock or water, simmering
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. If you have a couscoussier, stew the vegetables in the bottom section and steam the couscous on top. Otherwise proceed as follows.
  2. Prepare couscous with aromatics according to the base method. During the second steaming, begin to prepare the vegetables. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine all the spices with the garlic paste, lemon juice and half the olive oil.
  4. Heat the remaining oil in a large ovenproof casserole and sauté the carrots, pumpkin, turnips, parsnips and eggplant for about 5 minutes, or until all are lightly coloured. Add the spice mixture and stir to coat the vegetables for a further 2 minutes. Add the stock and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the zucchini, chickpeas and potatoes. Mix them in well then place the casserole in the oven and bake for 20–30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the oven, check for seasoning and sprinkle the rosewater over the top.
  6. When ready to serve, mix the green harissa into the simmering stock. Return to the boil, then taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
  7. Pile the vegetables into a deep serving dish and stack the couscous on top. Serve immediately with onion jam, the harissa broth and yoghurt cheese.
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