Wednesday 27 April 2011

Sweet Pumpkin Tagine with Harissa and Almond Couscous

Sweet Pumpkin Tagine with Harissa and Almond Couscous
from Moroccan, The Australian Women’s Weekly, ACP Books, 2011.

My partner came home with a new tagine. A great surprise! So, naturally, I had to try it out. We went out looking for Moroccan cookery books. They had to contain vegetarian tagine recipes. This meant some interesting books had to be put back on the shelves. Finally, we settled for Moroccan which had several suitable recipes—and a lot of other material I felt I’d like to get into.

The book, a fat little tome, is packed with recipes but rather short on information about Moroccan food. Nevertheless it seems like a good starting point. It’s also a Women’s Weekly publication and they have a good reputation.

The tagine itself was very easy to make. It was simply a matter of placing the ingredients into the cooker in the order given and cooking until it was ready.

The harissa was much more work. Dried chillies had to be soaked and ground. A red capsicum had to be roasted and skinned to puree in with the chillies. The spices had to be dry roasted and ground in the mortar and pestle. But it was all an enjoyable exercise—and the result was a heat explosion.

The couscous was easily made and when the harissa was added to it it gave it a wonderfully hot bite. I ended up adding a little more harissa to the couscous as I do enjoy the extra heat of chillies.

The mix of vegetables in the tagine with the spices and the addition of sultanas and honey worked very well. As it was a saucy meal the coucous was a great accompaniment to soak all the flavoursome juices. I look forward to trying some more meals in the tagine and with the weather rapidly becoming cooler every day they'll be just the thing for winter.

Taste: ✔✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔

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