I love the flavours of a tajine and this one is a relatively simple one and it’s not cooked in a tajine, just on the stove top or in the oven. With just a bit of sautéing at the start and then you just add everything in and simmer. I have included instructions for the slow cooker too. We had this with spiced chickpeas but it would also be great as a vegetable side alongside spiced roasted chicken or spiced roasted lamb. If you also rubbed the extra chermoula on some chicken thighs or fish it would be great!

Use any vegetables you like in this recipe! I quite like using root vegetables, cauliflower is great, so is eggplant. My vegetables all cooked at the same time but you can adjust the cooking time or the size of the vegetables accordingly.

Serves 6 or more as a side. Freezes well.

3 T olive oil
2 onion, finely diced
2-4 cloves garlic
1200-1400g root vegetables – I used two carrots, 1 kumara and 2 small parsnips and ¼ pumpkin (peeled)
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp turmeric
4 T chermoula – about half a batch, see below
1 x 680 jar passata
1-2 cups water or stock
2-3 tsp honey or sweetener of choice
zest of a lemon and juice to finish at the end
Chopped fresh coriander or microgreens to finish

Green olives – about a cup (optional)

Prep the vegetables. I cut my into quite large 2-3 bite pieces and as my vegetables all cook in approximately the same amount of time I added them all at once. If you were using cauliflower for example, I would add it in half way through. You can also cut everything smaller if you like.

Sweat the onions and garlic with the olive oil for about 10 minutes, add the spices and cook for a further minute. Add in the root vegetables, tomatoes. chermoula, stock or water, honey and lemon zest and olives if using and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer** gently for about 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked. Season well.

Squeeze over the lemon juice and finish with some chopped fresh coriander leaves.

Serve with the spiced chickpeas and some yoghurt ( I mixed some chermoula in ours) and we had it with a roast cauliflower and grain salad with herbs and baby spinach. Yum.

**You could also bring it to the simmer and pop it covered into the oven for an 45 minutes to an hour or until the vegetables are tender. This would probably work in the slow cooker too as long as it wasn’t stirred too much. I think 4-5 hours on low would be plenty. Start with just 1 cup of water/stock. I have also pressure cooked this tajine for 12 minutes on medium. It worked a treat.

Spiced chickpeas

2 tins chickpeas, rinsed and drained or about 500-600g cooked
4 T olive oil
2 tsp Ras al Hanout – I like Equagold’s blend
salt

Dry the chickpeas well on a tea towel. Heat the oil in the pan, add the chickpeas and a generous season of salt and cook until hot crispy and they have changed colour slightly. Add the spices and cook for a further 1 minute or so or until the spices coat the chickpeas and lose their rawness.

Chermoula – Middle Eastern Herb and Spice rub

This is a great way to use up a bunch of coriander or any other herbs you have growing in the garden. I have listed loads of ways to use it below.

1 tsp each of cumin and coriander seeds
1 tsp smoked paprika
Pinch chilli flakes
2-4 garlic cloves, peeled
Zest of a lemon
Juice of a lemon – about 2 T
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups herbs, coriander parsley and mint – I used mostly coriander with some mint
1 tsp salt
Black pepper

Toast cumin and coriander seeds in a pan. Cool. Blend everything together
Keeps for a week in the fridge or freeze in ice cube trays or give some away to a friend or a neighbour!

Uses…Rub on fish or seafood, chicken, steak, lamb, haloumi, feta, vegetables. Mix through labne or yoghurt. Mayo too.