Tag Archives: moroccan

Foreign Correspondent – Tajine in Sydney

Hi, obviously it was time that Kaylie and Mall took their mischief global so here is a little addition from Australia. ┬áMy name is Laura and I’d like to talk about tagines, decadent slow cooked Moroccan stews far more suited for a Pacific Northwest winter than the balmy Aussie summer that I am enjoying, even though it is hot in Morocco…

Moroccan food is glorious, and gloriously easy to veganify because of it is based on olive oil, fresh ingredients and loads of spicy goodness. Preserved Lemons, Harissa, Chermoula and Raj-el-Hanout (the last three are a spicy chilli paste, a green herb blend and literally the ‘Spices of the House’) make up a beautifully complex flavour base with really easily available and familiar ingredients. I’ve pared down this recipe to its most basic form but spice mixes are fun to have around and easy to make, let me know if you need links to recipes for them.

This Tagine is beautiful and I cannot wait to get back to Vancouver and cook it for Kaylie and Malloreigh. The Tajine is the name of the conical ceramic dish, as well as the dish itself but if you don’t share my brothers love for exotic ceramics a big old cast iron pot will work just as well. Marc suggests that this cheater’s version be called a ‘Fauxjine’.

Vegetable Tajine

1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 Red Onions, Sliced
3lb root vegetables: we used quartered Sweet Potatoes, chunky carrot sticks, quartered Zucchini Squash, Potatoes, salted Eggplant slabs.
1lb Peas, we used frozen
2 bunches of finely chopped Cilantro
1 bunch finely chopped Italian Flatleaf Parsley
2 tbsp Sweet Paprika
1 tbsp Cumin
1 tbsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
2 Birdseye Chilis, deseeded and finely chopped, leave the seeds if you’re brave.
4 Dates, pitted and halved
1/2 cup olives, pitted and halved, we used salty green ones.
3 Cinnamon sticks, Bay leaves,
3 Lemons, preserved Lemons if you can get them, make them, beg, borrow, or steal them.

Step 1. Don’t be afraid, this is fun.

Grease your Tajine pot, using some of the olive oil, add the rest to a big bowl that will fit all your vegies. Combine everything except for the Olives, Dates and Lemons.

If you are using fresh Lemons, roughly chop two and juice the other, add these to your spicy vegetable mix and combine really well so that everything is covered in herbs and spices. Transfer all of this to your cooking pot or Tajine by arranging the vegetables so that the ones that take more time to cook, like potato, are at the bottom and carrots and eggplants are at the top.

Bring to a boil just until steam is created and then turn the heat right down, cook for about an hour, add the dates, olives and preserved lemon skin if you are using them, cook for another 30-45 minutes then you’re done!

We ate this with “Relaxed” Couscous and a Malas Salad – It fed three and a half people handsomely, including Marc’s bountifully pregnant partner, Dom.

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Moroccan Eggplant Rolls Stuffed With Cilantro-Lemongrass Chickpea Spread with Roasted Red Pepper and Sweet Chili Sauce

cilantro-lemongrass chickpea spread stuffed eggplant rolls with roasted red pepper and sweet chili sauce

When our friend Chelsea came to visit and told us she was on a very specific diet – no oils, no grains, and no sugars, among other rules – I took it as a challenge. The eggplant rolls are inspired by something I’d seen at Granville Island Public Market. The eggplant is marinated and then lightly roasted. Inside is a chickpea spread delicately flavoured with fresh cilantro and lemongrass, and I made a sugar-free sweet chili sauce from scratch.