North African cuisine is heavily influenced by a number of cultures including Arabic culture, with ingredients such as ginger, saffron and cumin and the matching of sweet and sour, which gives North African dishes a distinct flavour. The Spanish introduced products like olives, tomatoes, paprika and Jewish refugees introduced preserving methods such as preserved lemons. Couscous, a staple of North Africa is produced from wheat flour rolled into tiny balls of dough which are steamed and eaten as an accompaniment to tagines.
This dish uses all these ingredients to create a flavour explosive recipe for one to add to their weeknight dinner collection. If you do make this tagine and couscous recipe, please share your photos and tag us on Alfalfa House Instagram. We would love to see your creations 🙂
Recipe and images courtesy of Sandra Clark, one of our members and volunteers
Cauliflower and Chickpea Tagine
- 2 Bowls
- 1 steamer
- Tea towel
- Oven proof casserole dish
- Knife, chopping board
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter or coconut oil
- 1 medium brown onion chopped coarsely
- 2 cloves garlic ( or 1 clove Russian garlic )
- 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
- 1 tsp raw sugar
- 400 g organic chickpeas can drained
- 1/2 medium cauliflower cut into small heads (florets)
- 400 g tin organic Tomatoes- chopped
- 1 tsp harissa (or more if you like it spicy) sub for chilli powder or flakes if you can't find harissa
- 1 bunch organic coriander, roughly chopped
- 1/4 medium preserved lemon (rind only coarsely chopped)
- 20 g sea salt
- A pinch black pepper (freshly ground)
For the Couscous
- 350 g wholemeal couscous
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 sprigs coriander
- Heat butter and olive oil in a large heavy based saucepan. (I use a cast iron pan.)
- Add onion and fry for 2-3 minutes on medium heat until soft.
- Add chickpeas and cauliflower florets
- Add in chopped tinned tomatoes and stir in Harissa. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add just enough water or vegetable stock to just cover cauliflower. Bring to the boil then turn down to simmer, put on lid and cook gently for 15-20 mins.
- When cauliflower is almost tender, toss in half of coriander and preserved lemon and cook a further 5-10 minutes.
- Remove from stove and garnish with the rest of the coriander.
To make the couscous
- Place wholemeal couscous in a bowl and just add warm water until it resembles wet sand.
- Add 1 tbls olive oil and toss together.
- Place in a steamer lined with muslin or a tea towel. (see picture)
- Steam for 20-30 mins
- Remove from steamer and place in a large bowl and toss the couscous with a large spoon. This will make it light.
- Serve in a separate plate decorated with ground cinnamon and coriander sprigs or toasted almonds
If you have a heat proof saucepan you can put the tagine in the oven at 160 degrees C. for 20 minutes.