Vegetable Tajine with Steamed Fig Infused Cous Cous

Moroccan Vegetable Tajine

As we travelled through Europe these recipes were naturally refined.  In Avinos, Turkey we discovered the beauty of cooking in clay pots, the tradition of this region.  At the Avinos markets we found the most beautiful produce and strings of sun-dried vegetables such as eggplant and okra.  They are exceptional in tajines and if you can I recommend using them.  You can make them yourself by slicing the vegetables and drying in a low oven or dehydrator.  In France we stayed with a beautiful Moroccan French woman who taught us the art of steaming cous cous.

Steamed Cous Cous in Fig Leaf

Ingredients (serves 4)

3 large fig leaves
1 cup couscous
4 Tbs butter
Water for steaming

Line a steamer basket with the fig leaves. Rinse the couscous in cold water, strain and put in the lined steamer. Bring a pot of water to the boil and place the steamer basket on top. Allow the couscous to cook for 10 minutes. Tip the couscous into a bowl or tray and add ¼ cup cold water. Work it through with your hands, braking the couscous up as you do so. Return to the steamer basket and steam for another 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and tip into the bowl again. Add half the butter, a little salt and work through again. Return to the basket and steam for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and rub in the rest of the butter and salt to taste. Steaming in this way makes couscous incredibly light and fluffy and the fig imparts a beautiful aroma and delicate taste to it.

Vegetable and Chickpea Tajine

Ingredients (serves 4)

2 tsp powdered coriander
1½ tsp powdered cumin
1½ tsp powdered cinnamon
1 tsp powdered ginger
Pinch saffron
½ tsp turmeric powder
1½ tsp paprika
½ tsp chilli powder
3 cloves garlic minced
1 onion roughly diced
1½ cup dried eggplant (fresh if unavailable)
1½ cup white potatoes cut into cubes
½ cup zucchinis cut into cubes
½ cup red capsicum sliced
Handful green beans cut into 1 inch pieces
6 or 7 sulphur free dried apricots
Juice from half and orange
2 cup diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
1 large cup chick peas (cooked or canned)
Fresh coriander for garnishing

In a tajine pot or heavy based pan add a good splash of olive oil. On low heat sauté the onion and garlic and when translucent add the powdered spices. Add the capsicums, potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, apricots, orange juice and a cup of water, stir to combine. Cover and cook for 15 minutes on low heat until the potatoes begin to just soften. Add the zucchinis and cook until the vegetables are just tender but not too soft. Add the chickpeas and blanched beans. Season with salt, sugar and lemon juice. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve on top of the cous cous with a dash of harissa on the side if you desire.

NOTE: To blanch the green beans cook in boiling salted water until just soft. Remove from the water and plunge into iced water. This stops them from over cooking and preserves their colour.

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One Response to Vegetable Tajine with Steamed Fig Infused Cous Cous

  1. Ranchi says:

    ..I LOVED that when had at the Buddhist Festival in Federation Square, when you cooked it as a demonstration to that Festival ..WONDERFUL! 🙂 xx

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