This dish is a cost-effective veggie version of the classic Moroccan casserole named after the clay dish it's traditionally cooked in and containing strong, fragrant flavors. Served with a simple couscous, this dish can be cooked either on the stove or if you want , like me, in the oven.
Ingredients: • 1 pinch of turmeric • Olive oil • 4 cloves of garlic sliced • 4 cm piece of ginger chopped • 1 tsp ground cumin • ½ tsp ground cinnamon or a cinnamon stick • 1 tsp ras el hanout • 1 tsp Paprika • 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato paste or use tomato puree • 2.5 kg mixed veg , such as aubergines, courgettes, carrots, cherry tomatoes, red onion, butternut squash, mixed-colour peppers, use and veg you want basically • 1 x 400 g tin of chickpeas • 100 g dried apricots or prunes and roughly chop them • The zest of a lemon • 300 g couscous • ½ a bunch of mixed fresh herbs such as parsley or mint • A hand full of toasted almonds • Plant based yoghurt
Method: Add your pinch of turmeric powder into a jug and cover it with 500ml of boiling water and leave to infuse (you can use saffron if you can find it and afford it !!)
Peel and finely slice the garlic and chop the ginger and place in a large casserole pan that has 2 tablespoons of olive oil in it over a medium heat fry these off for a minute before adding the cumin, cinnamon and ras el hanout then add the spices fry for a minute or so and then add the tomato paste and fry this paste a few more minutes, stirring regularly, then pour over the turmeric water creating your spiced cooking liquor.
Trim and prepare the veg, as necessary chopping them into large chunks and pop them into the pan as you go along with your chickpeas add the apricots/dates and lemon zest and have a check and if needed season with sea salt and black pepper.
Bring to the boil, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally (or do as I do and lob it into an oven for the same time at 180 degrees/gas mark 4 Couscous to prep the couscous couldn’t be easier just cover the couscous with boiling water, season with salt and pepper and pop a plate on top or cover with cling film and leave for 10 minutes, then fluff and fork up. Serve with your herb leaves and toasted almonds and a drizzle of plant-based yogurt …. Enjoy