Flexitarian Vegetable Tajine

Flexitarian Vegetable Tajine


With so many different flavours, textures and freshly ground spices—not to mention homemade preserved lemons—this tajine's to die for!

By Joshna Maharaj


Serves 4 to 6

1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 tsp dried crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/2-in. cubes
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 preserved lemon, chopped
4 cups water
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-in. cubes
2 medium turnips, peeled, cut into 3/4-in. wedges
3/4 cup brine-cured green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup sultana raisins
2 tbsp toasted almonds, chopped
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped

  1. To make the spice blend, toast coriander, cumin and caraway seeds in small, dry skillet over medium heat until they start to brown, about 2 minutes. Cool. Transfer to spice mill; process until finely ground. Transfer to a small bowl. Add red pepper, turmeric and salt.
  2. Heat olive oil in tajine (or a heavy, large pot) over medium-high heat. Add onion; season lightly with salt and sauté until it starts to soften, about 5 minutes. Add spice blend, garlic and tomato paste; stir 1 minute. Add carrots and celery; stir 2 minutes. Add preserved lemon, water, sweet potatoes, turnips, olives and raisins.
  3. Simmer with lid ajar until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Garnish with almonds, parsley, coriander and mint. Serve alone or with grilled merguez sausages and your choice of grains. We love Indian Harvest's Golden Jewel Blend, a colourful mix of couscous, beans, pasta and quinoa. (Cook grains according to package instructions in a separate pot to ensure that they don't get mushy.)

Wait, what the heck is a tajine?!

  • A tajine refers to both a Moroccan-style dish and the vessel it's cooked in.
  • Its unique cone-shaped lid is specially designed to cook its contents at a slow simmer, allowing the spices and flavours to develop slowly. The moisture-rich, temperature-controlled environment cooks meat and fish to tender perfection.
  • Since you can brown, braise and simmer food all in one pot, a tajine can do the jobs of a slow cooker, cast iron pot and stew pot, all in one.
  • If using a tajine on an electric stovetop, increase heat slowly and don't heat when empty.
  • A tajine can also be used as a serving vessel.