Unfortunately I don't own a tagine (maybe one day!), but I still attempted to make a tagine style dish in my large cast iron pan and it turned out fine. Are there any tagine owners among my readers? What are your experiences of them?
Don't be intimidated by the long ingredient list as all of these spices are very versatile for all kinds of dishes, so it pays off having them around. You could use a pre-made Ras el hanout spice mix instead of all the individual spices. Also the stages of making this dish are simple, it's only important to keep tasting the dish and add the spices to your own taste. I'm slowly getting more comfortable with a wider selection of spices and like experimenting with them. Preserved lemons might be difficult to get, but they add citrus zing and saltiness.
150g dried chickpeas
7 small shallots
1 sweet potato
2 romano peppers
3 cloves of garlic
1 small chilli
1tbsp olive oil
1tbsp vegetable stock powder + 300ml water
2 preserved lemons
Pinch of dried rose petals
For the spices I used:
1,5tsp ground cumin
0,5tsp ground coriander
1tsp ginger powder
0,5tsp ground cinnamon
0,5tsp grated nutmeg
4 stamen of saffron
Soak the chickpeas overnight and then boil for about one hour.
Chop the vegetables (shallots, sweet potato, carrots, peppers and garlic) into small pieces. Sweat the onions in olive oil and then fry all the vegetables for a few minutes, then add the spices to the pan.
Prepare the vegetable stock and add it to the pan. Add the drained chickpeas and cook under lid for about one hour. Cooking under the lid keeps the steam in the dish, which ensures the vegetables cook evenly and at least partly makes up for not having a proper tagine.
Later add the chopped preserved lemons, honey and whole black olives to the mix and cook a while longer. There's no need to rush this dish!
Once you're happy with the taste, serve on its own as a stew or with couscous. Sprinkle some rose petals on the top for serving.