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Archive for March, 2013

Another veggie recipe! It may look like I’m scared to eat meat after this whole horse meant debacle but it takes more than that to put me off meat. I am however generally trying to cut down (definitely not cut out) my meat consumption for a variety of  reasons –  environmental, financial and trying to be a bit more healthy.

As I’m not actually a veggie myself, I may use ingredients that aren’t strictly vegetarian, I don’t check if the wine I use is suitable for vegetarians for example.

So this recipe is based on a Lamb Tagine recipe I have made in the past but I’ve taken the lamb out and chucked in vegetables and pulses instead. If you do want the lamb version (and it is pretty special) swap some or all of the vegetables and pulses with the lamb, and use lamb stock instead of vegetable stock.

Whenver I mention I’ve made a tagine (and I do bang on about it all the time) people ask if I use a tagine pot to which I have to answer no, as I do not own one. I also don’t own a tandoor but I can make a pretty good approximation of tandoori chicken when I’m in the mood, so I don’t think having the correct pot to cook this in is the be all and end all, especially when you’re cooking at home. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love a tandoor in my little top floor flat but I suspect my landlord may not feel the same way.

So, the ingredients! Again a fairly lengthy list but most things here can be used in a number of different recipes and the spices last well.

Serves 4-6

  • Oil
  • 12 Shallots – left whole
  • 2-3 Cloves of garlic – chopped finely
  • 1 Inch chunk of ginger – chopped finely
  • 6-8 Dates – deseeded and chopped into chunks
  • 6-8 Dried apricots chopped into chunks
  • 1 Handful of Sultanas
  • 1 Medium butternut squash – chopped into chunks
  • 4-6 Small sweet peppers, whole or cut in half  (if you can’t get these just 1 or 2 normal peppers chopped into largish chunks)
  • 1 Tin of chickpeas
  • 1 Tin of chopped tomatos
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of dark, runny honey
  • 1-2 Teaspoons of turmeric
  • 1 Teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 200 ml Vegetable Stock (roughly)
  • A glass of wine (this is to taste really)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • A cheeky pinch of chilli if you fancy it.

1. Heat up a splash of oil in a sauce pan over a medium heat and fry the shallots until they start to brown, then add the chopped garlic and ginger until they also start to colour a tiny bit.

2. Chuck in the cinnamon, turmeric and chilli if you’re using it, and stir this around for a few seconds before adding the chopped butternut squash and peppers and coat them all with the spices for a 10 – 20 seconds (don’t let the spices burn) then pour in the stock and the wine – reduce the heat to low – medium, cover and leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes.

3. Add the chopped tomatos, dates, apricots and sultatans. Stir and then leave uncovered to simmer for 20 minutes. Stir every now and then to stop it catching at the bottom.

4. Add the honey and the chickpeas and stir. Let this keep simmering until you’re happy with the consistency. I like it pretty thick so I reduce for a while longer, maybe 20 minutes or so.

5. Season with salt and pepper if needed and serve. Sprinkle toasted flaked almonds over the top and serve with couscous or some bread of your choice. Or both if you’re greedy like me. It’s also really nice with a thick Greek yoghurt dolloped on top.

Veggie Tagine

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