[Recipe] Youcef's Moroccan Tagine – Vegan – Oil-free – Unprocessed
Author: 
Recipe type: low-fat, whole-food plant nutrition, vegan, oil-free, sugar-free, salt-free
Cuisine: Moroccan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8~10 meals, with bread
 
Ingredients
  • 7 large carrots
  • 7 medium potatoes (that may include some sweet potatoes)
  • 3 large onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 lemons, organic or spray-free.
  • 100g of dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 100g of dried prunes (the hard kind, common in Europe and North Africa) or 200g of "California" prunes more common in Anglo-Saxon countries. If you're using a lot of sweet potatoes, you can reduce the prunes amount, to balance sweetness.
Spices (2 tbsp of Youcef's Tagine Spice Mix -will be posted later- or as below)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (preferably Ceylon cinnamon and not Cassia, gentler on the stomach)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground paprika
  • ¼ (one forth) tsp ground cayenne chili (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
Topping and decoration (optional but nice, skip if you have or are recovering any CVD)
  • 100g almonds
  • 100g raisins
  • ¼ (one forth) cup sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Cut the onions in strings or rings, not diced.
  2. Cut the garlic the way you like to eat it (whole, sliced, finely chopped...)
  3. Water-fry the onions+garlic on medium heat (with no oil!) Just make sure to add water when it dries to prevent burning. This should take ~20 minutes cooking time. When they are brown add ~a cup of water (preferably hot) and the spices. Meanwhile:
  4. Peel the potatoes and the carrots, unless they're organic.
  5. Cut the potatoes (along the main length) into 4 or more large wedges . Set aside.
  6. Halve the carrots along the length, and again cut that in finger-sized bits. Set aside.
  7. Clean-cut the yellow part of the lemon peel with a knife. Set aside the cuts.
  8. Remember: When the onions are browned, add a cup of water, then the spices, and stir well.
  9. Add the cut potatoes first, then the lemon peels.
  10. If you use the rock-hard kind of dried prunes add them now.
  11. Add all the carrots, chickpeas, then everything else. California-style prunes are best added towards the end of cooking, because they are so soft and tend to decompose in cooking.
  12. Water amount: If cooking in a pot or deep slow-cooker, put just enough water to cover everything. If using a traditional tagine plate you may have to top with water as it's cooking so it will be good to check to make sure it doesn't dry out and burn.
  13. Cook for 1 hour to 1 hour 30 on medium heat for a standard pot. You know your tagine is ready when the potatoes and chickpeas are almost as soft as you like them.
Oven-roasting the toppings (optional):
  1. Meanwhile, oven-roast or pan roast the almonds and sesame seeds, stirring regularly to get even browning. I put them in an oven tray close to the grill at 120°C for ~20 min, then throw in the raisins just for 5~10 minutes. I can't give you precise timing for this, it depends on your oven, but it's easy: The sesame seeds should not be black and smoking but just gently browned/golden. The almonds should taste roasted but not get black or burned. The raisins should gently caramelize and become chewy/crunchy but not carbonize and get bitter/super-crunchy. This will need a bit of attention but it's completely worth it taste-wise!
Serving:
  1. In a [/b]hollow or soup plate[/b], serve alternate potatoes and carrots, put the onions and chickpeas in the center on top, and the prunes around the plate topped by roasted almonds, one per prune.
  2. Finish by pouring some sauce.
  3. For decoration, put the rest of almonds and raisins on top, and sprinkle sesame seeds.
  4. Serve with Moroccan bread.
How to eat tagine
  1. Like with flat bread: Cut a piece of bread, pinch on a bit a bit of this and that, and eat!
Notes
If you're cruelly lacking time, make time :) !
Or...just dump everything in the slow-cooker, and skip the roasted toppings.
It's not quite as good but it works too. Just make sure to stack things in a way when the hardest foods than need the most cooking are at the bottom and the softer less cooking-demanding ingredients on top.
Recipe by Youcef Banouni Plant-Based Nutritionist at http://www.youcefbanouni.com/1291/recipe-youcefs-moroccan-tagine-vegan-oil-free-unprocessed/