Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Spicy Vegetable Tagine with Couscous

     Not only is a tagine a conical, ceramic cooking vessel originating from North Africa, it is the name given to many of the dishes cooked in these ancient slow cookers.  They are similar to dutch ovens in that they were designed for slowly braised stews often made with tougher cuts of meat.  I have been craving vegetables so when I came across this Spicy Vegetable Tagine With Couscous from Real Simple I knew I had to try it.  It does require a bit of preparation but once you have your ingredients organized it couldn't be easier.  If you group your ingredients together and divide them into bowls or covered containers beforehand, it's just a matter of timing the steps.  I made this stew in my 12 inch dutch oven, sauteing the onions, carrots, peppers and garlic over a full compliment of coals then covered the lid with 20-22 briquettes.  From start to finish the vegetables cooked in 45 minutes.  They have the most amazing combination of flavors, sweet from the curry, raisins and cinnamon with a hint of smokiness from the cumin.  Serve it over instant couscous or your favorite rice and feel good about enjoying this colorful and exotic tagine.

Spicy Vegetable Tagine With Couscous
2 Tblsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 large carrots, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium red bell pepper, cored and cut into thin strips
2 cups vegetable stock or canned chicken broth
1 tsp turmeric
1 small cinnamon stick
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1 large zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup golden raisins
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Package of instant couscous

     Lightly oil or spray your dutch oven.
     Heat the oil over a full compliment of coals.  Add the onions, garlic, carrots and bell pepper and cook until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes.
     Add the stock and spices and bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer vegetables for 10 minutes.
     Add the zucchini, eggplant, raisins and half the chopped cilantro and continue cooking until tender, about 25-30 minutes. 
     Prepare the couscous according to package directions.  Serve with the tagine garnished with the remaining cilantro.
     Serves 4.

Saute onions, carrots, garlic and pepper

Add stock and spices, simmer covered for 10 minutes

Stir in remaining ingredients

Simmer covered for 30 more minutes

Serve over couscous or rice and garnish with chopped cilantro 


  1. I made this today and it was just wonderful! We made quinoa instead of couscous. Thanks for the recipe

  2. So glad you liked it, and with quinoa, what a healthy meal. Thanks for your feedback, Liddy