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North African Tagine

In Morocco, tagine means both a traditional stew and the type of special clay pot that it is cooked in. The pot has a shallow bottom and a dome-shaped top. Meats, vegetables and even fruits are cooked together slowly with a mix of spices. There are many types of tagines. This easy vegetable tagine is made with onion, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnip and turnip and flavored with cinnamon, cumin and coriander and served over couscous. For even more flavor, top the tagine with a spoonful of chermoula. Add some oranges with fresh mint on the side for a little sweetness.

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger root minced, about 1-inch piece
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 sweet potatoes cut into ¾-inch pieces (5 cups)
  • 2 carrots peeled and cut into ¼-inch thick slices
  • 1 parsnip peeled and cut into ¼-inch thick slices
  • 1 turnip peeled and into ½-inch thick slices
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground mild red chile
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the ginger, onion, and turmeric and cook about 4 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are soft and golden. Add the sweet potatoes, carrots, turnip, parsnip, cumin, coriander, red chile, salt and pepper. Sauté until the spices are fragrant but not burnt or bitter-smelling, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add the broth and cinnamon stick, stirring to combine. Bring to boiling and then reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are cooked through and tender. Add the chickpeas and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove the cinnamon stick before serving.
  3. To serve: Spoon tagine over couscous and top with a small dollop of chermoula, if desired.