Cauliflower and Chickpea Tagine with Wholemeal Couscous Recipe

Recipe and images courtesy of Sandra Clark, one of our members and content volunteers

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.

Cauliflower and chickpea tagine with wholemeal couscous
Serves 4 as a main course

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Equipment needed: 2 bowls, 1 steamer, tea towel, sieve, ovenproof casserole dish, knife, chopping board


1 tlbs olive oil
1 tlbs butter or coconut oil
1 brown onion, chopped coarsely
2 cloves garlic ( or 1 clove Russian garlic )
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp raw sugar
400g tin organic chickpeas, drained
½ cauliflower cut into small heads (florets)
400g 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
¼ preserved lemon*(rind only coarsely chopped)
20g Sea salt
Black pepper to taste (freshly ground)
350g wholemeal couscous
1 tbls olive oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 sprigs of coriander

1. Heat butter and olive oil in a large heavy based saucepan. (I use a cast iron pan.)
2. Add onion and fry for 2-3 minutes on medium heat until soft.
3. Add chickpeas and cauliflower florets
4. Add in chopped tinned tomatoes and stir in Harissa. Season with salt and pepper.
5. 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.
6. When cauliflower is almost tender, toss in half of coriander and preserved lemon and cook a further 5-10 minutes.
7. Remove from stove and garnish with the rest of the coriander.

1. Place wholemeal couscous in a bowl and just add warm water until it resembles wet sand.
2. Add 1 tbls olive oil and toss together.
3. Place in a steamer lined with muslin or a tea towel. (see picture)
4. Steam for 20-30 mins
5. Remove from steamer and place in a large bowl and toss the couscous with a large spoon. This will make it light.
6. 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.

Leave a Comment