Vegetarian recipes can be really exciting and this Sweet Potato Tagine is great at breaking down carnivore barriers!
Spicy Vegetarian Tagine.
Considering that I am far from being a vegetarian I cook an awful lot of vegetarian food! This simple sweet potato number has rapidly become a firm favourite in these parts.
The savoury flavours of dried mint and sumac offer a savoury contrast to the sweet vegetables.
Then we get a good slug of heat and complexity from harissa paste.
It is all very easy to cook too, 10 minutes of your time and then into the oven for half an hour. After that dinner is ready to roll!
Can You Make Harissa Paste at Home?
As a result of this I have given making harissa paste a real good try. I have to say that my results have been disappointing!
I have tried everything from my own experimentation to ALL of the top 10 results on Google and plenty aside.
Nothing has come close to the spicy complexity you get from a good quality store-bought harissa paste.
So in short, yeah you can make it at home. I don’t because as far as I am concerned store-bought is better.
This is coming from a guy that insists on everything from ketchup to curry pastes from scratch.
Hints and Tips.
As you can see from the video, I do not use a “tagine” to make a tagine.
I broke mine a very long time ago and never got round to replacing it.
Fortunately, you can make them in a pan.
You do have to be sure that you do not overload the pan, but apart from that anything with a well-fitting lid will be fine.
If you are relatively new to North African ingredients then Zaatar may be new to you.
Zaatar is both a herb and a spice blend, I refer to it here as the spice blend.
It contains toasted sesame seeds, dried thyme, oregano or marjoram and salt. On occasions, it will also contain sumac and other bits.
The herb is called hyssop in English and can also appear in the spice mix.
It varies massively across North Africa into the Middle East and it is glorious.
It is usually used as a seasoning for food after it has cooked and it tastes fantastic. I even make a paste out of it to coat chicken in this zaatar chicken leg recipe!
As for a side dish, for me it has to be either some simply cooked couscous or bulgur wheat.
- 25 g Butter
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 100 g Onion
- 400 g Sweet Potato
- 100 g Carrot
- 1 Tbsp Harissa paste
- 100 g Dried Dates
- 1 Tbsp Honey
- 2 Tsp Dried Mint
- 1 Tsp Sumac
- 125 ml Vegetable Stock
- 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 Stick Cinnamon
- 50 g Blanched Almonds
- 1 Tsp Cumin
- Salt to taste
- Black Pepper to taste
- 15 g Flaked Almonds
- Zaatar to Taste
- Top and tail then peel and cut the onion into 8 wedges.
- Peel the sweet potato and carrot and cut into 1.5-2cm pieces.
- Heat the oil and butter in a heavy based pan that you have a lid for over a medium-high heat.
- When the oil and butter mix is hot add in the cinnamon stick and onions and cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add in the carrots and sweet potato.
- Throw in the Harissa paste, dates, mint, honey, sumac, lemon juice, cumin and blanched almonds.
- Pour in the vegetable stock, season, stir then cover with a lid,
- Place in the oven for 30 minutes at 180°C or 350°F.
- The vegetables should retain some structure but be soft to the tip of a knife!
- Just before serving toast off your almond flakes making sure not to burn.
- Sprinkle with the flaked almonds and zaatar before serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 778Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 971mgCarbohydrates: 109gFiber: 19gSugar: 60gProtein: 14g