A juicy stewed fruit vegan tagine, meatless meat balls and a rich tomato marinara — three delicious recipes on one page. Aren’t you all lucky!.
Morocco was engaging in trade and commerce with other civilizations since the dawn of its history in 800AD. It embraced the cultural influences of its partners in art, music, literature and food.
The rich and hearty flavour of Moroccan dishes is characterized by the use of dried fruit such as apricots, dates and raisins. ‘Tagine’ refers to the pyramid shaped clay pot traditionally used to cook stews in. The materials and cooking method contribute to the making of a succulent, flavorful dish packed full of all sorts of goodies. This fragrant vegan tagine is a beautiful, warming and grounding take on traditional Moroccan cuisine.
Make the separate components and serve either over cous cous, or perhaps a jeweled Persian rice with Tahdig as I have here (recipe to come soon – but check out this Persian quinoa salad in the meantime).
- 1.5 large white sweet onions
- 2 sweet potatoes - the orange variety cut into 1" chunks
- 1 aubergine/eggplant cut into 1" chunks
- 1.5 cups chopped zucchini
- 1/4 pumpkin lightly cooked and chopped into large chunks with the skin removed (it is much easier to remove the skin once the pumpkin is already cooked).
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
- 1 inch of fresh ginger chopped
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 T harissa paste If you do not have this, use 1/2 tsp chilli powder and 1 heaped teaspoon of tomato paste
- 2 T sweet chilli sauce
- sprinkle of chilli powder
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped or minced
- 4 sun-dried tomatoes halved
- 3 bay leaves
- 2-3 T date paste
- 4 dates pitted and chopped
- 1 orange peeled and chopped into chunks
- 1 tsp corn starch mixed into 2 T cold water.
- 3 fresh tomatoes chopped into large chunks
- 18 dried apricots
- 2 handfuls golden raisins
- 2 cups water
- fresh coriander
- 1 package firm tofu rinsed and pressed between tea-towels to drain water
- 1 T ground flaxseeds + 1T chia seeds mixed into 3T warm water and left for 15 minutes
- 2 T tomato paste
- 1 handful coriander/cilantro chopped very finely
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 T paprika
- pinch of chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups oats ground into flour in a blender or food processor
- salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 180C
- 1 large sweet white onion
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 cup white wine optional or use a tsp wine vinegar
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- 2 fresh tomatoes chopped
- 1 T date paste
- 1 T 100% pure maple syrup
- 1 T tomato paste
- 1 T smoked paprika the smokey flavour is quite important, so try and find smoked paprika if you can
- pinch chili flakes
- pinch of cinnamon
- pinch dried oregano
- Handful of chopped black olives pitted
- *You may use vegetable stock if you would like as well. I did non
Process the onion and garlic with cumin, coriander powder, paprika, chili, ginger and cinnamon in a food processor to make a paste. Chop the dried tomatoes and pulse them with the paste until they are somewhat blended through. It does not need to be totally smooth.
Roast aubergine and sweet potato at 180C until tender. This can be done with olive oil or with a little water in a non-stick dish for a lower-fat version
If using oil, heat a little in a pot. Otherwise, use a nonstick pan with enough water to cover the bottom. Add onion paste, roast vegetables, zucchini, pumpkin, turmeric, cardamom, bay leaves, tomatoes and 1 cup water. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for ten minutes or so. The dish will become very fragrant at this point
Add the chili sauce and date paste. If your date paste is very thick, I find it helps to heat it gently in the microwave for 10-15 seconds until it softens. This way, it will be much easier to stir evenly throughout the dish. Mix thoroughly
If needed, add the extra 1/2 cup of water. Add dates, orange, corn starch, tomatoes, apricots, raisins and a small handful of chopped, fresh coriander. Mix through
If you have a tagine, heat the oven to 170C/340 F. Pour ingredients into tagine/clay pot and cover. Bake for one hour
If you do not have a tagine, continue to cook in the saucepan on medium-low for one hour, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom
Preheat oven to 180C
Place tofu in food processor with ground oats and spices. Add tomato paste and ginger and mix through
Add flax/chia 'egg' and pulse in food processor until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
Roll into balls with your hands and arrange in a pyrex dish. Bake for 30 minutes. When this was done, I also 'fried' them in a nonstick pan (oil optional but not necessary) just to get them a little more crispy.
While the meatballs are cooking, make the ragout:
Fry onion on medium heat with garlic in a saucepan until onions are tender
Add crushed tomatoes, fresh tomatoes and wine/vinegar. Cook for a minute. Then add stock, date paste, tomato paste, maple syrup, chili flakes and cinnamon. Simmer for 10 minutes
Season with salt and cracked black pepper to taste. Pour over neat-balls and serve
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