Tagine is Morocco’s best-known dish: a slow-cooked stew made with lamb, chicken or fish and vegetables. It’s named after the conical-lidded pot that the stew is traditionally cooked in – the design allows steam to condense back into the dish as it cooks, to retain its juices. This vegetarian tagine doesn’t need meat for flavour – the vegetables absorb the essences of the coriander, cumin, saffron, ginger and tomato-y stock. The vegetables should be chunky so they hold their shape during the slow cooking. Serve the tagine as the Moroccans do – over some nutty-tasting couscous.
If using dried chickpeas, soak them overnight. The next day, drain, place in a large pan, cover with water, bring to the boil then simmer for 1 hour, or until tender.
Place the onions in a bowl, cover with boiling water and let stand for a couple of minutes. Remove them carefully, then peel.
Trim the carrots and courgettes, then slice into large batons. Chop the pumpkin into large pieces, roughly chop the potato, and cut the cabbage into 8 wedges. Trim and halve the aubergines lengthways. Pick and roughly chop the herbs.
Peel and roughly chop the ginger and place in a large pan with the saffron, cumin and coriander seeds, most of the mint and parsley leaves, the tomato purée and vegetable stock.
Bring to the boil, then add the onions, carrot, pumpkin and potato. Cover and allow to bubble away for 10 minutes, then add the remaining veg and the cooked or tinned chickpeas. Cover again and leave to simmer away for a further 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Cook the couscous according to the packet instructions. Take the tagine off the heat. Spoon the couscous onto serving plates and top with the tagine, scatter with the remaining mint and parsley leaves. Serve immediately with harissa, to taste.