Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Spiced Butternut Tagine

Recently at a Total Event with Chef Paul Merrett, we made a delicious Mediterranean Butternut Tagine. It tasted so delicious, that I wanted to share it with my hubby and family and recreate it at home. As is frequently the case, I didn't have completely the right ingredients to follow the recipe, so I omitted the olives, apricots and coriander and added some mushrooms, a tin of kidney beans and a couple of tablespoons of honey. As long as you keep the base of the Tagine the same, you could add whatever vegetables or ingredients you would like to it. I also had no cauliflower to make the wonderful cauliflower couscous that Paul showed us how to make, so I ended up using rice, and eating the leftovers with some wonderful crunchy bread. 

For a yoghurt dip, I mixed paprika, plain yoghurt, mint jelly and fennel seeds together and left out the coriander as I had none. I love the yoghurt/mint jelly combination of ingredients - it makes a great quick and easy dip for lots of spicy dishes, or its also a great dip to whip out for crudities when you have people over.

Although this is more of a winter dish, it tastes wonderful in the summer also as it isn't too heavy.I have included the original recipe below, but do play around with it and use different flavour combinations. 

Spiced Butternut Tagine with Roasted Pepper and Tomato & Toasted Fennel Seed Yoghurt Served With Cauliflower Couscous

Serves 4

For the Spice Mix:
½ tbsp of fennel seeds
2 pinches of chilli flakes
½ tbsp of cumin seeds
1 tsp of coriander seeds
1 inch of cinnamon
1 tsp of ground ginger
½ tbsp of paprika

For the Tagine:
1 butternut squash, peeled and roughly cut into 3cm cubes
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red onion diced
1 yellow pepper, diced into 3 cm squares
1 red pepper, diced into 3cm squares
1¾ tin of chopped tomatoes
100g of dried apricots, halved
Approx 20 green olives
1 tin of chick peas
Olive oil (for frying)

For the Fennel Seed Yoghurt:
200g of TOTAL Greek yoghurt
2 tsp of fennel seeds
½ tsp of smoked paprika
1 tbsp of coriander, chopped
1 tsp mint, chopped

For the Cauliflower Couscous:
1 head of cauliflower
20 inch square of muslin

  • Dry fry, cool and grind all spices for the spice mix in the pestle and mortar.
  • Dust the cubed butternut squash with a third of the spice mix and fry in batches until brown   all over. At this point you are just ‘colouring’ your squash. Set aside.
  • Heat a casserole and fry the garlic and red onion. 
  • Add the peppers.
  • Add the tomatoes and bring the pot to a simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the dried apricots, olives and chickpeas.
  • Add a little water at this point if required.
  • Add the pre roasted butternut and another third of the spice mix.
  • Cook on until the butternut is just cooked (about 5 min).
  • Check the seasoning and add a little salt and some more spice mix if required.
  • Toast the fennel seeds in a frying pan, cool and grind.
  • Mix the yoghurt with the fennel seeds, paprika, mint & coriander and set aside. 
  • Trim cauliflower florets from the stalk.
  • Whizz up the florets to a crumb in a food processor.
  • Wrap the cauliflower couscous in the muslin and place in a colander over a pan of boiling water for approximately 5 minutes.

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