Saffron Vegetable Tagine
OK, so Eid celebrations are over, and it is time to say goodbye to indulging in foods and desserts which make you carry a pang of buried guilt. It is time to give the stomach a break and focus on cooking nourishing, fibre rich and healthy meals. This vegetable tagine is a pure and guiltfree indulgence. Packed with fibre, which helps lower and regulates blood sugar and is a fantastic source of various vitamins. This is comfort food at it's best to me, one morsel is an explosion of flavours which are warm and delicate. It is time to get rid of that sluggish feeling and raise the energy levels again.
Cooking in a tagine is a favourite, I love cooking in clay pots, not only because food does not burn but because the heat and moister is trapped and circulates creating a unique flavour due to the slow cooking, have a look at my terracotta spiced lamb and Chicken mishermel recipe. This dish is indeed an example of hassle-free cooking, just layered fresh, vibrant and seasonal vegetables in a natural earthware pot and left to its own devices to cook. The secret to the intense yet tantalising umami flavour lays in the balance between the earthiness of the cumin and the saffron with the technique of slow cooking in natural earthware.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Start to finish: 1 hour 15 minutes
cooking: 1 hour
1/4 cabbage head
400 grams pumpkin
3 medium potato
100 g green beans
100 g okra
3 cm ginger
1/2 cup coriander
1/2 cup parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil
For the spice sauce mix:
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1 teaspoon paprika
pinch saffron threads or 1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Himalayan salt
1 cup hot water
· Mix all the ingredients for the spice mix together with the water and set aside.
· Chop the onions coarsely and set aside then slice the tomatoes into tranche and set aside, slice the ginger.
· Peel and cut the carrots into batons about 6 cm long, do the same for the pumpkin.
· Cut the small zucchini in half or quarters.
· Peel and cut the potatoes into quarters lengthwise.
· Remove the tops of the okra and the green beans and set aside.
· Pour the olive oil in the tagine and neatly pile half the vegetables starting with the cabbage in the middle and placing the more hardy veggies on the bottom and ginger then drizzle with half the spice mix sauce and half the chopped coriander and parsley and season with salt. Then repeat the same process with the rest of the veg finishing with the delicate vegetables on the top. Finish with the sauce and more chopped herbs.
· Cover and place the tagine on a diffuser on high heat until the liquid reaches a boil then reduce to medium heat and cook for about 1 hour until vegetables are cooked. Baste the vegetables with the sauce regularly and add water if it is drying out.
· This dish is very diabetic friendly.
· You can use any vegetables you fancy.
· You can use a regular pot if you don’t want to invest in a tagine.
· You may eat with any cooked whole grain or couscous but, I opt to eat it as it is.
Per Serving: 299 Calories; 9g Fat (23.3% calories from fat); 10g Protein; 53g Carbohydrate; 11g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 596mg Sodium.