Spiced Moroccan Tagine with Jewelled Quinoa

Not strictly a tagine as I cooked it on the hob..  And substituted quinoa for couscous, but its delicious and nutritious and flavourful and North African influenced and I’m sure it could also be cooked in an earthenware pot.  The dried fruits in the quinoa ca be substituted with which ever ones you had.  I thought I had apricots in the fridge but they were dates!

Ingredients serves four

20g (3/4 of an ounce) of flaked almonds

20g (3/4) of an ounce) of pine nuts

1/2 a teaspoon of cumin seeds

1/2 a teaspoon of ground coriander

1/2 a teaspoon of tumeric

a large onion

200g (7 ounces) of carrots, scrubbed

a courgette (zucchini)

400g (14 ounces) of potatoes, scrubbed

2 teaspoons of harissa

a tablespoon of tomato puree

a teaspoon of vegetable bouillon powder (or a veg stock cube)

2 bay leaves

50g  (one and 3/4 ounces) of red lentils

400g (14 ounces) can of chickpeas (this is the undrained weight)

half a preserved lemon

200g (7 ounces) of quinoa

4 dates

2 tablespoons of raisins

2 tablespoons of pomegranate seeds

olive oil

salt and pepper

flat leaf parsley and black olives to serve (optional)


Gently toast the almonds and pine nuts in a large saucepan, remove and set aside when they are lightly browned

Into the warmed pan add the half teaspoon of cumin, dried coriander and tumeric and toast these dry for a couple of minutes before splashing the bottom of the pan with olive oil

Finely slice the onion and add this and a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper, stir so everything is coated in oil and put the lid on and sweat while the rest of the vegetables are prepared

Cut the carrots into one inch (2 and 1/2 cm) rounds and throw these in

Cut the courgette (zucchini) in half lengthways and then each half in half lengthways again, chop into one inch (2 and 1/2) cm pieces and throw these in

Coat everything in the oil and spices and chop the potatoes into one inch cubes, put these in the pan and add 400ml (13 and 1/2 fluid ounces) of water, stir and bring to the boil

Add a squirt of harissa (2 teaspoons) and the 2 tablespoons of tomato puree

Add the teaspoon of vegetable bouillon or crumbled stock cube and 2 bay leaves

Stir in the lentils

Drain and add the chickpeas

Finely chop the preserved lemon and stir this in

Cook slowly for 30 to 40 minutes depending on how soft or al dente you prefer your vegetables

Towards the end of cooking boil the kettle for the quinoa,  you need twice the volume so its easier to put the quinoa in a liquid measuring jug and then into a separate saucepan and pour the boiling water into the jug so you get twice the volume

Pour the water over the quinoa in the pan and add a pinch of salt and cook on a moderate heat for 10 minutes

After 5 minutes of cooking chop and add the dates and the raisins

After 10 minutes take it off the heat and stir in the pomegranate seeds and toasted almonds and pine nuts

The quinoa can stand a little while with the lid on to continue absorbing the water while the tagine is dished up

When the vegetables are to your liking, give everything a final stir.  Serve scattered with flat leaf parsley and olives (optional) along side the jewelled quinoa

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