Rich in history, flavors & sensational tastes, Moroccan cuisine is one of the most exotic food in the world. The recipes are simple and easy to prepare. Even the everyday salads and vegetables take on an immediate exotic flavor when it comes Moroccan recipes and cuisine.
A tajine or tagine is a type of dish found in the North African cuisines of Morocco, which is named after the special pot in which it is cooked. Tagines are slow cooked/simmered at low heat, resulting in tender, moist & aromatic meat & vegetables in sauces. A lot of spices & seasoning are added to the tagines which imparts the rich & exotic flavors that they are so well known for. The Tagine Pot, where the Tagines are traditionally cooked is made of heavy clay & is offten painted or glazed. The pot also has a dome shaped cover, to allow the condensation of all juices & flavor to be retained inside the pot when it it cooked covered. The cover is then removed & the food is served in the same tajine where it was cooked. Traditional spices & pairings that are used to add flavor to the Tajine, - ground cinnamon, cumin, ginger, pepper, saffron, turmeric & also citrus fruits, dry fruits & olives being some of them.
Back in India we would get the fresh new cauliflowers at the start of the winter which would continue thru March & April. Array of recipes would be done to make the best use of Cauliflowers during these cool comfortable times. Sending this to Eating with the Seasons: February, hosted by Maninas. Here I have done a Cauliflower Tagine & really enjoyed the rich taste of spices & dry fruits. Hope you enjoy it too….
- 1 Head Cauliflower – the Florets broken into medium sized pieces
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
- 1 Medium Onion Peeled & thinly sliced
- 3 cloves of Garlic minced
- 1″ Piece of Fresh Ginger Peeled & sliced Very Fine
- 1/2 Green Bell Pepper/Capsicum cut into thin strips (may use more if you want)
- 2 Slices of Lemon
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/2 Cup Prunes
- 3 Tablespoons of Raisins or Sultanas or Currants
- 1/4 Cup Tomato Puree
- 1 Medium Tomato Chopped
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 Teaspoon Saffron
- 1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric
- 1 Teaspoon Paprika
- Freshly ground Black Pepper
- 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- A fistful of Walnut or Almonds (I have used walnuts)
- 1/2 cup Whole Wheat Couscous
- 1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh Mint leaves
- 1 teaspoon lemon Juice
- Fresh Grind of Black Pepper
- 4-5 Tablespoons lightly toasted walnuts
Heat the oil. Add the black pepper. When they start to sizzle, add the onions. Fry the onions till they are glazed & transparent.
Add the Cumin, Turmetic, Paprika, & Ground Cinnamon, Fry for a few minutes at low heat. Take care that they do not burn.
Add the Lemon slices, Garlic, Ginger, Orange zest & stir fry for about 3-4 Minutes.
Add the chopped Tomato, Tomato Puree, Crushed Saffron, Salt & stir it around. Cover & cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Uncover & add the Bell Pepper/Capsicum, Cauliflower florets, Raisins & Prunes. Cover & simmer till the Cauliflowers are fork Tender & moist. There should be still some sauce left, enough to lavishly coat a spoon.
Add the toasted nuts & toss to combine. Garnish with more nuts.
Place couscous in a large bowl . Bring water to a boil. Once water boils, pour over couscous, and let stand until water is absorbed, about 5 minutes.
Whisk Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Black Pepper, Salt & Mint Leaves, and stir it in the couscous briefly to combine. Garnish with Toasted Walnuts.
Serve the Tagine with the Couscous….
We loved the matching of spices & flavors going on here. Used to cooking the cauliflower in the everyday regular way of stir fry, or curry or a bland salad, this was an awesome change. The fragrant spices along with the zest of orange & the lemon & the raisins & the nuts… it kind of tickled all the taste buds. This is going to Let’s go Nuts:Walnuts & Pecans hosted by Aquadaze of Served with Love. Sending this to JFI: Cauliflower initiated by Indira of Mahanandi & hosted at Paajaka Recipes.