Our family’s meal this holiday will be a little non-traditional. We’re making a plant-based vegan Moroccan dinner and the main dish is this Moroccan Chickpea Vegetable Tagine. If you haven’t heard of a tagine, it’s a piece of bakeware used for making the dish with the same name.
A typical Moroccan meal is made up of cold salads for starters, followed by tagine and couscous topped with vegetables or meats and usually includes fruit for dessert. If you’d like to see the full menu, visit my article, “Plant-Based Moroccan Holiday Menu.”
My version of this vegetable tagine is a sort of sophisticated vegetable stew filled with spices that are similar to those used in Indian cuisine, spices like cumin, coriander, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and the like.
Tagines also usually include some type of dried fruit such as raisins, dates or apricots. This dish uses dried apricots. Oftimes it can also include olives and/or nuts.
I found this beautiful ceramic tagine on Etsy and it’s specifically made to use in the oven or even on the stovetop. It’s a festive presentation when serving to guests as you open it to reveal the beautiful vegetables inside. Serve couscous on the side.
Couscous is a very small pasta made from semolina wheat and I have seen a whole wheat version. However, I have experienced the whole wheat version being a bit too old and smelling rancid (because the oils have gone off). I couldn’t even find the whole wheat version in Whole Foods recently.
There is also a larger version of couscous if you prefer. Here’s one I found from Bob’s Red Mill
If you’d prefer, you can always use a different “grain” such as farro, brown rice, barley or even quinoa for a gluten-free version.
I like to make the stew in a large pot on the stovetop by first sauteeing the onion and garlic in a little vegetable broth. After adding the tomato paste, tomatoes and spices, I add all of the chopped vegetables and enough vegetable broth to just cover. This can be done earlier in the day and set aside until later when you want to finish the dish.
I then put it all into the ceramic tagine and pop it into the oven to bake for another 45 minutes or so until the vegetables are tender. Of course, you can continue to cook on the stove or use an oven-friendly dish instead of the tagine bakeware. It doesn’t take much to fill up your pot since 3 red potatoes, 1 large sweet potato, zucchini, and cauliflower do the trick, but what’s fun about a recipe like this is that you can add your favorite vegetables.
The addition of broccoli, butternut squash or green beans would work as well.
I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below for this Moroccan Chickpea Vegetable Tagine recipe! If you have a photo, post it on my Instagram page, tag me using the hashtag #plantbasedcooking in your caption, and I won’t miss it!