moroccan tagine with charmoula drizzle
August 24, 2010
I’m not sure why but this morning I woke up with a restless desire to a) buy a tagine and b) make a Moroccan tagine in the tagine. So after work I set out to accomplish both and big success! I bought a nice red Le Creuset tagine at a little independent store called The Cook’s Place. I think I’m in love.
So what’s different? Why not just use a dutch oven or heavy pot? Well, let me tell you. “The unique shape of the tagine allows air to circulate above the food without escaping. There’s a steam hole to make sure pressure doesn’t grow too much, but it also keeps in most of the moisture. This allows your tagine to slowly steam and roast the food from above, while simultaneously broiling from the heat at the bottom. This combination of cooking-methods allows the food to slow-cook from all directions to make a perfect, fragrant casserole.” This from squidoo.
And what did I make in the tagine? A Moroccan Chickpea Tagine that we drenched in Charmoula, but more on that in a sec. First, here’s the tagine recipe from The Vegan Cook’s Bible.
4 cups chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 2 cans chickpeas with liquid
2 cups of veggie stock (use 1 1/4 cups if using canned chickpeas and their liquid)
juice of 1 lemon
2 cups diced sweet potato
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup currants
4 sun-dried tomato halves, thinly sliced
2 slices fresh ginger, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the base of tagine, combine chickpeas, stock, lemon juice, sweet potatoes, quinoa, onion, apricots, currants, sun-dried tomatoes, ginger, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and hot pepper flakes. Bake in preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours or until sweet potato is tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with Charmoula. It really couldn’t be easier or faster.
So what’s charmoula? I asked the same question. I found the recipe in Bonnie Stern’s Friday Night Dinners and, it sounded good, but I had never heard of it. Turns out wiki, of course, has the answer: “Chermoula or charmoula is a marinade used in Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian cooking. It is usually used to flavor fish or seafood, but it can be used on other meats or vegetables. Chermoula is often made of a mixture of herbs, oil, lemon juice, pickled lemons, garlic, cumin, and salt. It may also include onion, fresh coriander, ground chili peppers, black pepper, or saffron.” Bonnie Stern’s includes mayonnaise, for which I substituted veganaise. Tasty. It actually totally satisfied my longing for aioli which I do love but have put on the no-no list for obvious eggy reasons.
1 cup veganaise
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp hot red pepper sauce
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp paprika (preferably smoked)
2 tbsps finely chopped fresh cilantro
In a bowl, combine veganaise, garlic, lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, cumin, paprika, and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.