2/12/08

B.'s Eggplant and Chickpea Tagine


Ok, so I know I've been talking about cooking something 'merican lately to make up for all my international experiments. But Troopers, (as my trust and estates prof would say) I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Not when the stars aligned to let me make this awesome Tagine. You see, I've been begging my ex-roomate B. to send me some of her recipes ever since I moved out. Other than her proclivity to scoop cottage cheese or plain yogurt on everything, B. is an awesome cook and is particularly adept with two things: vegan chili over mashed potatoes (*drool*) and Eggplant and Chickpea Tagine. So I finally got her to send me the latter recipe, and coincidentally, this month'sBon Appetit had a set of Morroccan recipes as well!

So what is a Tagine? Its a North African dish that is slow cooked and often contains dried fruit, ginger, garlic, cumin, cinnamon and peppers. The word also refers to the awesome cooking vessel that rich people register for when they get married. :) Basically, the dish is cooked in such a way that the meat (or whatever) has a chance to braise in the spices and slow cook into a stew. Sounds good, right?

Well this recipe is a slight twist- I used the method from B.'s dish and the spices from the Bon Appetit recipe. I served the whole thing over 5-minute pine-nut couscous and with a side of mint tea- oh man was this a satisfying meal. And as usual, my reliably picky family gobbled it up.

This isn't really a labor intensive meal despite the large amount of ingredients- the only ish I had with the this recipe was that the potatoes weren't fully cooked when I finished. I'm not totally sure how to remedy this, I guess put them in earlier and cook them for longer before deglazing w/ the tomato sauce. Enjoy!

Eggplant and Chickpea Tagine

-1 Large Eggplant
-2 zucchinis (or one large one)
-3 shallots (or 1 yellow onion) diced
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1 T. grated peeled ginger
-4-5 small boiling potatoes (or sweet potatoes) diced
-1/4 tsp. turmeric
-1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
-1/2 T. cumin
-1 can tomato sauce
-1 T. tomato paste
-2 T blood-orange preserves or bitter-orange marmalade
-1 1/2 cans chickpeas, drained
-1/2 c. dried apricots, chopped
-1 T. chili sauce or powder
-1 cinnamon stick
-1 thyme sprig

1. Slice up the eggplant and zucchinis and salt them liberally in a collander. Let them hang out there while you cut up the potatoes and onions.
2. Rinse off the eggplant and zucch and toss in some EVOO. Broil on a baking sheet, tossing once, for about 20 minutes or until browned.
3. In a large (I mean, huge) pot, heat 2 T EVOO over medium and add in the shallots (or onions), garlic and ginger. Cook until translucent, then add in the mushrooms. Cook for a few more minutes, then add in the potatoes. Now, add in the turmeric, paprika and cumin.
4. Once the potatoes are softened, add in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, and 2/3 c. water. Bring to a boil and partially cover for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat back to medium. Add in the eggplant and zucch, chickpeas, and the rest of the ingredients.
5. Simmer for 15-20 more minutes, stirring. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4-6, w/ leftover. Serve w/ instant couscous and mint tea. Also excellent for leftovers with pita or tortilla chips.

Thanks B! Now, send me your chili recipe!

2 comments:

Jennifer said...

You know I haven't had too much luck with eggplant, but this makes me think I should try it again. I am intrigued by the Tangine. To be honest, I had never heard of it, but I like the spice combination.

I bet this meal would be wonderful with Moroccan Mint Green Tea. Mmmmm.

Anonymous said...

this recipe is wonderful!! i did a lot of substitutions/cheats and it was still perfect. i only had an onion and a shallot, so i added both and no garlic. i used fresh ginger paste. i only had 2 small potatoes and 1 can of chickpea and still was fine. i also didnt have tomato paste but it didnt matter. i ALSO didnt have orange preserves - but i did find an organic papaya chutney in the back of my fridge that worked so nicely.

i found that i could barely boil it, as it was dry and kept adding a bit more water. still it was great.

and i served it over quinoa for a wheat-free option. its soooo satisfying! thanks.