Butternut squash, apricot, chickpea and almond tagine with cous cous and red onion and pomegranate salad



I spent some time in Morocco a few years ago and just fell head-over-heels in love with the place.  This really reminds me of my time there and is a great dish for a simple supper with friends as you can do most of the prep before your guests arrive, meaning more time spent chatting and less time in the kitchen.

I do have a tagine cooking pot which I often use but you can just as easily use a casserole dish with a lid.  You ideally want one that can go on the hob and then in the oven.

(Serves 4)

For the tagine:

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • Generous splash of olive oil
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 tin of organic chickpeas (drained)
  • 2 tins of organic chopped tomatoes
  • 1 medium-sized bag of organic, dried apricots – chopped
  • Handful of flaked almonds
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons of ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Sprinkle of dried red chilli flakes
  • Salt and pepper to season at the end
  1. The first step is to peel the butternut squash.  My friend Sarah gave me a great tip on how to do this which is to immerse the squash in boiling water for a couple of minutes first – this makes the peeling SO much easier!
  2. Chop and de-seed the squash and put it to one side
  3. Pour the olive oil into the bottom of the tagine or casserole dish and add the spices
  4. Once the spices have dissolved add the garlic and the onion and fry for a few minutes to soften them
  5. Add the butternut squash, tinned tomatoes, chickpeas and dried apricots
  6. You may wish to add some water at this stage to ensure that all the ingredients are covered with liquid
  7. Stir and place in the oven, with the lid on at 180°C for about one hour.
  8. Sprinkle with toasted almond flakes before serving.


Whilst the tagine is cooking you can prepare the salad;

(The idea for this salad is actually taken from a Nigella Lawson cookbook so I can’t claim it as my own BUT it’s delicious and works really well with this tagine.)

For the salad:

  • 1 large red onion
  • Pomegranate seeds (you can de-seed your own or you can buy them ready-to-go from most supermarkets)
  • Pomegranate juice
  • 1 lime
  • Handful of fresh coriander
  1. Slice the onion and pop into a bowl.
  2. Squeeze over the lime juice and and pomegranate juice.
  3. Leave to stand for at least 20 minutes.
  4. Pour off the excess liquid, add the pomegranate and fresh coriander just before serving.


Serve the tagine with the salad and a big bowl of cous cous.