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Monday
Apr122010

Tagine of Pumpkin and Chickpeas

The warming fragrant smell of a tagine cooking is so delightful. Here is a vegetarian tagine to either serve as a Moroccan main or as a side dish in a Moroccan banquet alongside for example the fish tagine in the seafood section, or some simply grilled chicken breasts with all the accompaniments of couscous and yoghurt etc.

"This dish is beautifully rich and aromatic - a little sweet from the pumpkin and golden orange in colour. Perfect for a vegetarian dinner party"- Melanie.

Pictured: Tagine of Pumpkin and Chickpeas

1 cup chickpeas, soaked overnight
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 cinnamon stick
¼ tsp dried chilli flakes
¼ tsp saffron threads, steeped in 100ml hot water
500g pumpkin, peeled and cut into large pieces
2 waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces (slightly smaller than the pumpkin)
Half a 400g tin tomatoes
2 zucchini, sliced
½ a preserved lemon, chopped - for home-made recipe go to Fish Tagine in Seafood section
cooked couscous or rice, to serve
½ cup yoghurt
½ cup coriander leaves

Put the chickpeas in a pot with plenty of cold water and boil for 30 minutes. Drain.

In a large pot, heat the oil and butter and cook the onion and garlic until soft and lightly golden. Add the spices (except saffron), cook for a couple of minutes, then add the partially cooked chickpeas, saffron, pumpkin, potatoes, tomatoes and just enough water to cover. Season with salt and simmer gently until the potatoes are almost soft (about 20-30 minutes). Add the zucchini and preserved lemon and cook for 5 more minutes or until the potatoes and pumpkin are soft (but not mushy).

Serve with couscous or rice and a dollop of yoghurt and some freshly chopped coriander.

If you like it hot, serve a little harissa on the side (available at delis and some supermarkets).

Serves 6

Pictured: Home-made Preserved Lemons