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.
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
- 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!
- Chop and de-seed the squash and put it to one side
- Pour the olive oil into the bottom of the tagine or casserole dish and add the spices
- Once the spices have dissolved add the garlic and the onion and fry for a few minutes to soften them
- Add the butternut squash, tinned tomatoes, chickpeas and dried apricots
- You may wish to add some water at this stage to ensure that all the ingredients are covered with liquid
- Stir and place in the oven, with the lid on at 180°C for about one hour.
- 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
- Slice the onion and pop into a bowl.
- Squeeze over the lime juice and and pomegranate juice.
- Leave to stand for at least 20 minutes.
- 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.