This saffron-scented vegetable tagine with herbed couscous is an exotic, vegan, warm stew that is very easy to make. The saffron lends a wonderful flavour and brilliant yellow colour to this potassium-rich dish.
A pungent blend of different spices makes a wonderful autumnal tagine packed with flavour.
When made the day before, the flavours infuse further to make this a showstopper to woo your guests with.
Makes 6–8 servings.
Vegetable tagine ingredients
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 cups cooked organic chickpeas (see classic hummus recipe, page xxx)
½ cup dehydrated tomatoes, chopped small
2 tbsp tomato passata
¼ tsp saffron threads, soaked in ½ cup filtered water
1 carrot, cut into small dice
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into small dice
1 celery stick, thinly sliced
2 cinnamon sticks
1 sachet umami instant stock or 2 vegetable stock cubes dissolved in 6 cups hot filtered water
2 cups fresh shiitake or button mushrooms, washed and thinly sliced
12 dried unsulphured apricots, thinly sliced
¼ cup each fresh parsley and coriander</>
Meyer lemons (small, sweet hybrid lemons thought to be a cross between a regular lemon and a mandarin orange)
Vegetable tagine method
Soak the saffron threads for 30 minutes before using.
Heat a splash or two of filtered water in a heavy-based pan. Add the garlic, onion and spices. Heat on low for 5 minutes, stirring to coat the vegetables with the spices.
Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, tomato passata, saffron threads (and soaking water), carrot, sweet potato, celery, cinnamon sticks and stock.
Bring to a boil, and simmer on a low heat for 20 minutes.
Add the dried apricots and mushrooms and continue to simmer for another 25–30 minutes, adding more liquid if required.
Stir in the fresh parsley and coriander and serve with some herbed couscous and fresh salad greens.
Garnish with fresh mint, pomegranate seeds and lemon segments.
Herbed couscous method
3 cups couscous
4½ cups boiling filtered water
Pinch sea salt
1 tsp herbs de Provence
½ cup toasted flaked almonds
Spread the couscous evenly in the bottom of a large casserole so that it is in as thin a layer as possible.
Add the salt and herbs to the boiling water and gently pour over the couscous. Cover tightly with a lid or compostable cling film. Set aside for about 15 minutes, then fluff with a fork and mix through the flaked almonds.