Vegetable tagines are very popular all over Morocco, and is an extremely versatile dish. Create your own favourite tagine with all the suggestions in this post and recipe card.
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
🥘 Main ingredients
- green or red bell pepper (paprika)
- fresh mint
- olive oil
- Chermoula optional
🧾 A deeper dive into this recipe
I have eaten so many vegetable tagines during my Moroccan travels, and they were always different. Depending on location, locale produce, and time of the year. It is a very common and popular dish, especially in the mountains with the Berber communities. It is such a versatile dish, you can pretty much create it according your own personal likings.
So, let's have a look at my recipe. I have used vegetables which are easy to get here in the South of France, but also very often used in Morocco. Such as, carrot, turnip, potato and courgette. I used onions and tomato as my base ingredients to layer on the bottom of the tagine, this is in general a very common practice.
Furthermore I have chosen to use Chermoula in this recipe (what is Chermoula? > see below), because for me the use of chermoula gives so much extra depth and flavour to the tagine. But chermoula is definitely not a 'must have' ingredient in a vegetable tagine. Most often it is not used.
As a bit of a sweetener I have used a good handful of raisins. I stuffed some mint sprigs in the middle of the tagine, such that during the cooking process these lovely aromas slowly travel through the whole tagine and infuse the vegetables.
I am very pleased with this particular recipe creation. The pure vegetable flavours are still very present (use the freshest ingredients possible). While the chermoula gives it a spiced and herby layer of flavours. The tomato provides the juiciness, and the raisins are softened and balance the spices. So easy and so delicious!
A great dish to enjoy with friends. You can prepare the tagine ahead, and leave it to simmer while hosting your friends. Followed by the great experience of having one large tagine in the middle of the table, and all tuck in with some home-made khobz.
🍵 What is chermoula
Chermoula (or Charmoula) is a marinade mixture made of spices, and herbs. Such as; Garlic, cumin, coriander, turmeric, saffron, paprika, black pepper, fresh coriander, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil. This marinade is most often used as a marinade for fish, or fish tagine. But it work beautifully as well with vegetables.
🥗 Variation suggestions
Even though it is probably safer to use a fixed recipe the first times you make your own tagine. Once you understand the cooking process, and the use of flavours you can easily become your own tagine recipe developer, and create your signature tagine. Use ingredients such as;
- Vegetables; Carrot, courgette, turnip, parsnip, potato, paprika, green beans, peas, aubergine, pumpkin, artichoke, sweet potato, chickpeas, lentils, beans, tomato, onion. Etc.
- Sweetness; Dried apricot, prunes, raisins, dates, figs
- Herbs; Coriander, Mint, Parsley.
- Spices; cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, ginger, paprika, coriander, saffron, mace, cloves, fennel, anise, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, fenugreek, caraway, black pepper. Etc.
- Toasted nuts; Almonds, pistachio, walnuts, pine nuts.
- Other commonly used flavours; olives, preserved lemon.
It's all about getting the balance between the flavours just right. As you can see the possibilities are endless, you can pretty much use whatever you like. But at the same time I do want to acknowledge that the best tagines I have tasted were the most simple ones with only very few ingredients, but of extreme freshness and quality. So go as much as possible for top seasonal, local produce.
💭 Top tip
I hope I have motivated you in making your own tagines. If you don't have a clay tagine pot, you can use a cask iron pot instead. But it is definitely worthwhile to hunt for a proper clay tagine pot, it does make a huge difference in texture and flavour distribution. They don't have to cost much.
I often see non-Moroccan cultures eating tagine with couscous, but traditionally these dishes are never mixed in Morocco. All though in general I am all for mixing & matching different cultural foods, but in this case the mix doesn't agree with me.
But of course feel free to do what ever you want to do, and make sure you enjoy it! 🙂
Some other Moroccan recipes on this site;
This vegetable tagine recipe is part of my 'Travels of taste' series. Using our taste buds to travel the world, discover other cultures through food. So today we find ourselves in Morocco. If you are ready to imagine yourself walking around in the hustle & bustle of the souks, and indulge in all its flavours. Check out my full Moroccan 'travels of taste' post; >>> Morocco - the flavours of the souks.
I would love to see your tagine creations, please add @haricoco1 to your instagram posts, so we can share our experiences.
- 2 small carrots cut in halves
- ½ courgette cut in quarters
- ½ green or red pepper cut in slices
- 2 small potatoes cut in halves or quarters (depending on size)
- 2 turnips diced in minimum 2-3 cm (1 inch) cubes
- 2 onions sliced in rings
- 1 to mato sliced
- ½ a lime
- 2 sprigs of fresh mint
- 2 tablespoon of raisins
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
for the chermouls
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon paprika powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 bunch of coriander finely chopped
- 1 small bunch of parsley finely chopped
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
To make the Chermoula;
- Mix all ingredients, adjust to liking. Feel free to use a food processor.
- Prepare all the vegetables.
- Oil the dish of your tajine, and pre-heat your tagine on your stove top, or in the oven.
- Once the clay pot is nice and hot, you can start layering your tagine.
- On the bottom you start with layering the onion rings, on top of the onion rings you can layer your sliced tomato. Drizzle approx. 2 or 3 teaspoon of your Chermoula over the tomatoes.
- Layer your turnip over the tomatoes. If you have large mint sprigs fold them double or triple, and put them in the middle of your tagine, like in a cone shape.
- Start layering your carrots, courgette, potato and pepper around and against the mint cone, so you create a tower of vegetables.
- Pour the raisins all over the tagine, and drizzle another 4 - 5 teaspoon of chermoula over the tower of vegetables.
- Pour a good spoonful of olive oil over the vegetables, and squeeze the juice of the lime over.
- Close the tagine, and leave it on a very light simmer for approx. 1.15h to 1.30hours.