Family Dinner: Root Vegtable Tagine

Friends, Food, Family: Recipes and Secrets from LibertyLondonGirl

I love food! And, being my father’s daughter, I love food with big flavours. From chilli and curries to ratatouille and pasta dishes, it is all about the big flavours. So it’s probably a bit strange that I haven’t had much experience of Moroccan-inspired cooking. Surely a tagine, which is essentially a richly flavoured stew, would be right up my street. Well, thanks to Sasha Wilkins and her wonderful book, I have not only tried a tagine but made my own.

The tagine in question was the root vegetable tagine from Friends, Food, Family, which I reviewed here. After last month’s timing debacle (here), I chose not to do a dessert but instead work on perfecting the main dish. However, I did have to make a few adjustments.

Root vegetable tagine with quinoa and pomegranate seeds

First of all, what were the ingredients? A fairly long list, though I did omit one or two.

  • chicken thighs
  • potato
  • sweet potato
  • butternut squash
  • Moroccan seasoning
  • cinnamon
  • onion
  • flour
  • olive oil
  • blanched almonds
  • olives 
  •  water

I omitted the olives on this occasion as I have a severe dislike for them, even if the parents do adore them. My favourite bit was frying the chicken thighs, skin on and dredged in flour. Mmmmm, there is just something about the smell of frying chicken till it goes crispy. It was also an incredibly easy dish to prepare as after frying the chicken, all I had to do was fry of the onion, spices before adding the vegetables and chicken and simmering. So easy and the water made a pefect sauce with the flour and spices. I just had to add the blanched almonds at the end.

Simmering stew… yum!

The side dish was a little more difficult. Sasha suggested couscous as a traditional Moroccan accompaniment. However, couscous also contains gluten. Unfortunately, that makes it a no-go for family deals due to Mum’s intolerance. So instead I turned to an alternative I’ve only gotten to know over the last 18 months or so. Introducing quinoa; a seed that can be used as a replacement for carbohydrates like rice and couscous. However, as it is a seed, it is gluten-free (woohoo!), high in fibre and protein. It has even be hailed as a superfood. For this particular meal, it was perfect as the texture is so similar to that of couscous’ small grains. I also added pomegranate seeds, which I had never tried before. I will definitely be adding them to more dishes in the future after experiencing their juicy loveliness firsthand.

Quinoa dotted with ruby-like pomegranate seeds

Essentially, I had a great time cooking the tagine and both myself and my parents enjoyed eating it. I may even have converted them to being more open to quinoa, especially when served with pomegranate seeds. Oh, and I recommend serving it with Fanta Zero… or at least when I’m craving orange fizz!

Have you got any particular favourite drinks that you crave? Or any dishes that you have recently tried for the first time? Let me know. Always on the look out for inspiration.


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