Friday, May 05, 2006

Moroccan dreaming

With less than a week til I move back into my house, my thoughts are elsewhere (counting pennies to pay for it, for a start!). I have been cooking, but not snapping pics.

I wanted to make a Moroccan cauliflower dish, like I have eaten at the Moroccan Soup Bar but couldn’t find a suitable recipe and ended up making a basic vegetable tagine instead.

Actually it was a “saucepan” not a tagine, as it was made on the stove top without the aid of the namesake cooking vessel.

The Moroccan inspired saucepan
Fresh ginger, finely chopped
Garlic, finely chopped
Coriander seeds, ground
Cumin seeds, ground
Chilli, dried or powdered (to add a little spice but not hot like a curry)
Cinnamon – 1 quill or piece of bark*

Sweet potato or pumpkin, cubed
Onion, sliced
Zucchini, chopped lib with whatever you have in the fridge

1-2 cans of chickpeas, rinsed well
(some people have been known to add meat)

Good quality vegetable stock (chicken if going for the carnivorous version)
1-2 cans of chopped tomatoes

Fry the spices, except cinnamon, in some vegetable oil then add the densest vegetables and onion. Stir. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, cinnamon and stock. After a while add any remaining vegetables. Simmer some more. Add more stock if required to give it a ‘stew with lots of juice’ consistency. Check seasoning, add salt if necessary.

Prepare couscous as desired. If you were a purest it would have been steaming over the stew all the while, but I just did the quick method (1 cup of couscous steeped in 1 cup of boiling water, covered with a tea towel for about 10 minutes) – stir through a bit of butter and fresh chopped mint, if you have it, before serving.

* I love the strong taste of cinnamon bark, it really adds another dimension to the flavour which powdered cinnamon doesn’t quite hit.

I used the leftovers for mini pies the next day. This was a quick no-brainer, I’m hungry after working late meal thanks to the joys of frozen pastry. Drain off excess juice and mash or finely chop. Fashion into pies and bake in a moderate-hot oven for 15-20 minutes. Tastes great with tomato chutney and a salad.

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