This eggplant tagine is rich, perfectly spiced, and will melt in your mouth – it's the definition of middle eastern comfort food. A tagine is a heavy clay pot that is used in Moroccan cooking to stew a wealth of ingredients until all of the flavors combine into a symphony of deliciousness. But even if you don't have a tagine, this stovetop version of the dish is just as good as the classic method.

Stovetop Lemon Roasted Eggplant Tagine [Vegan]

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Serves

3-4

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Ingredients

  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced finely
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into half, or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 5-6 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon-1 tablespoon liquid sweetener of choice
  • 1 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 14.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup dry couscous
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Cilantro
  • Sesame seeds or toasted almonds
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Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 390°F.
  2. First, prepare the eggplant by chopping it into cubes, placing it on a baking tray, and pouring half the lemon juice, a pinch of salt, and some olive oil over the vegetables.
  3. Roast this in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
  4. In a saucepan, fry the onion and garlic until they're fragrant.
  5. Add the ginger, harissa paprika, cumin, cinnamon, and cardamom, and fry the mixture for another 1-2 minutes until it's aromatic.
  6. Add in the sweetener, tomatoes, chickpeas, and raisins, and let it simmer.
  7. Throw in the eggplant when it is done.
  8. Let the mixture reduce down until the tomatoes are thick and not watery anymore.
  9. As this is cooking, place the dry couscous in a bowl, add 1 cup of boiling water and cover it with a plate to let it cook. Fluff the couscous with a fork once it is ready (about 6 minutes).
  10. Add the rest of the lemon once the tagine is ready and garnish it with cilantro and sesame seeds.

Notes

You can also make all of this in an oven, by simply cooking everything in an oven-safe dish or tagine pot. Pop it into the oven after the step where you add the chickpeas, raisins, and eggplant. Bake it for 40-60 minutes until it's thick. 

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