Back in the winter I made a meatball tagine with herbs and lemon (you can check out the post and recipe for it here). In case you need a refresher on tagine 101, it’s a Berber dish from North Africa, that is named after the earthenware pot in which it is cooked. When I made the meatball tagine I didn’t have the special pot yet. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when armed with a gift card I had received from my parents for my birthday, I purchased a tagine from my favorite store, Sur la Table (ironically enough the tagine I bought was made in Portugal, not Morocco).
Although I’m slightly behind in posting this as I made a second tagine with my tagine (quite a mouthful, no?) this past Friday I still wanted to share all the same. Along with my tagine pot that I got I also bought a fabulous cookbook-Ghillie Basan’s Tagine-Spicy stews from Morocco. The cookbook is broken down into different types of tagines-lamb tagines, beef tagines, fish tagines, chicken tagines and even vegetarian tagines (I’m looking forward to trying the tagine of baby eggplants with cilantro and mint).
The first recipe I tried from my cookbook was a summer tagine of lamb, zucchini, bell peppers and mint. The author notes that other vegetables that can be added include tomatoes, eggplants, and peas. It was decidedly simple to make and the smells that wafted out of the kitchen and into the rest of my house were just divine.
Summer Tagine of Lamb, Zucchini, Bell Peppers, and Mint
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon dried mint
a 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
1 1/2 lb lean lamb, cut into bite-size pieces
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 small zucchini, sliced thickly on the diagonal
1 red or green bell pepper, seed and cute into thick strips
4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
a small bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
a small bunch of fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
1 lemon, cut into quarters, to serve
Heat the olive oil in a tagine or heavy-based casserole dish. Stir in the onion, garlic, cumin, and coriander seeds, dried mint, and ginger. Once the onions begin to soften, toss in the meat and pour in enough water to just cover it. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat, cover with a lid, and cook gently for about 1 1/2 hours.
Season the cooking juices with salt and pepper. Add the zucchini, bell pepper, and tomatoes, tucking them around the meat (add a little more water if necessary). Cover with a lid again and cook for about 15 minutes, until the zucchini and bell pepper are cooked but retain a bite.
Toss in some of the chopped parsley and fresh mint, sprinkle the rest on the top and serve immediately with lemon wedges to squeeze over the dish.
I accompanied the tagine with garlic couscous.