A tagine is basically a hearty stew, named after the pot it is traditional cooked in the oven in. Couscous is the fluffy grain of the Mahgreb – the countries of North Africa. Traditionally, it is steamed above a spicy bubbling stew, and red hot harissa paste is stirred into the vegetable mixture just before serving the couscous.
For the couscous
- 700g vegetable stock
- 350g couscous
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 50g flaked almonds lightly toasted
- 75g ready to eat apricots
- 3 tbsp sultanas
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
For the aubergines
- 1 large aubergine cut into 2cm cubes
- 1 bunch fresh mint finely chopped
- 2 lemons juiced
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 2 tbsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp harissa paste
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp olive oil
For the chickpea stew
- 2 onions sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 tsp paprika
- Pinch cayenne
- 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 150ml vegetable stock
- 3 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 x 400g can chickpeas drained
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas5. Heat the stock in a large saucepan until boiling. Pour the cous cous in and stir in the lemon rind. Remove from the heat, cover and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
- Fluff the cous cous up with a fork – it should absorb most of the liquid. Drizzle over the olive oil and fold in the almonds, apricots, sultanas and parsley. Season to taste.
- Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and fluff up the grains again. Keep warm until needed.
- Place the aubergine in a shallow ovenproof dish. Mix together all the remaining ingredients and toss the aubergine to cover. Seal tightly with cling film and leave for at least half an hour to marinade. Remove the cling film and place the marinated aubergine in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes until tender.
- Fry the onions in the oil until soft and golden. Add the garlic and spices and fry for 2 minutes longer. Add the tomatoes and stock and simmer gently until well cooked and starting to thicken. Stir in the tomato puree, chickpeas and bay leaf. Simmer for 5 minutes more.
- Season to taste and stir in the chopped parsley. Spread the cous cous on a large platter and ladle the chickpea stew over the top. Top the stew with the baked aubergines and serve.