Vegetable tagine

by Victoria Brown

A healthy, good value dinner, with extra for lunch

This recipe is part of my Box clever series: a regular guide to easy, delicious and internationally inspired packed lunches. Read the article that inspired the dish.


For the tagine:
750g pumpkin
3 carrots
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, halved and sliced into half moons
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
¼ preserved lemon, or to taste, roughly chopped
2 tbsp ras el hanout, or to taste
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
100g dried apricots, roughly chopped
250ml water or stock
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained
150g green olives, pitted
Small bunch of coriander, for garnish

For the cous cous:
100g flaked almonds
25g unsalted butter
250ml water or stock
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch salt
200g cous cous
100g golden raisins 


Preheat the oven to 180C.

Remove the seeds from the pumpkin and cut into chunks, then remove the skin. Peel the carrots and cut into chunks. Put to one side.

In a large heavy-based casserole, heat the olive oil over a low heat. Add the onions, cover and sweat for 10 mins or until soft, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, stir and sweat for a further 2 mins.

Add the tomatoes, preserved lemon, ras el hanout and seed spices. Stir to combine and simmer for a few mins. Season to taste.

Add the pumpkin, carrots and apricots to the casserole, add the water or stock and stir to coat the vegetables in the sauce.

If using a tagine, transfer to the tagine. If not, cover the casserole with its lid. Place in the oven for 1 hour. After 20 mins, give it a stir. After 40 mins add the chickpeas and olives and stir again.

Meanwhile, make the cous cous. Put the almonds on an oven tray and toast for 5 mins or until golden. Put to one side.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat. Add the water or stock, cinnamon and salt and bring to the boil. Add the cous cous, cover and remove from the heat. Leave to stand for 5 mins or until all the water has absorbed. Add the raisins and almonds and fluff with a fork. Season with more salt, if desired.

Garnish the tagine with coriander leaves and serve.

Recipe: Victoria Brown