Sunday 15 July 2012

Mixed Vegetable Tagine

From The Slow Cook Book, Heather Whinney, Dorling Kindersley, 2011.

Cookbooks on slow cooking seem to be appearing in increased numbers on the shelves of bookshops. This particular one is interesting in that it includes on each page the method for slow cooking as well as the method for making the same dish in the traditional method—a very sensible solution for you don’t always have time to allow for slow cooking but would like to make that particular recipe.

The book is not a vegetarian cookery book but it does include a reasonable number of dishes that are vegetarian. There is also a ‘chooser’ page which lists all of the vegetarian recipes in the book so that you don’t have to search through page by page.

I used the traditional method for making the tagine. An onion was chopped and fried in oil in the tagine base until it was soft. Seasoning was then added together with a little chopped fresh ginger, a couple of chopped garlic cloves, ground spices (turmeric and coriander, a teaspoon of each), a pinch of saffron, and about half a teaspoon of cumin seeds. These were all cooked for a few minutes until the fragrances were released.

The vegetables went in next: potatoes, carrots and one fennel. These were all cut into fairly large chunks. They were all stirred into the spice mix and fried for a few minutes more before the chopped tomatoes were added. I just used sufficient vegetables in this to suit what I had and what I liked. There were more potatoes than any other ingredient. The tomatoes were what I had in the kitchen. Stock was now added to just cover the ingredients in the tagine. The lid was added and it was all simmered for about half an hour.

Now some olives were added and some chopped preserved lemon peel. The seasoning was checked and it was ready. I cooked it a little longer with the lid off to let some of the liquid thicken a bit. Chopped coriander was sprinkled over when it was served.

A tasty and satisfying winter dish, easy to make and one that can be simply varied to suit whatever is in the pantry.

Taste: ✔✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔

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