Do something different for your weekend lunch with the family and serve something exotic but easy to pull off at home. Originating from Morocco, tagine is a stew-type dish with poultry, meat, or seafood plus vegetables and fruit. Slow-cooked in traditional cookware with the same name, tagines are as rich and hearty as Western-style stews but are cooked with much less liquid. The domed lid traps steam and sends the moisture back to the pot, ensuring that food is cooked to tender perfection. Serve this mouthwatering seafood and eggplant tagine with a couscous salad to complete your Sunday feast.
For the chermoula
- 2 small red onions, finely chopped
- 4 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped and roots
- 4 tbsp flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 4 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 fresh red chilli
- Pinch of powdered saffron
For the tagine
- 6 fillets of white fish such as whiting or snapper
- 12 mussels
- 6 prawns
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 small brown onions, sliced (about 360g)
- 2/3 cup diced celery
- 2/3 cup diced carrot
- 1/4 preserved lemon, pulp removed and finely chopped
- 1 yellow pepper, sliced
- 2 400g tins chopped tomatoes
- 2 small Japanese eggplants, sliced lengthways
- 3 tbsp chermoula
- 5 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped coarsely
- 600ml fish or chicken stock
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- Fresh coriander, flat-leaf parsley, and mint
To make chermoula
- Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until mixture becomes a rough paste. You can keep prepare this in advance and keep it in the fridge for up to one week.
- Marinate the seafood in two tablespoons of the chermoula and set aside in the fridge for at least an hour.
To make the tagine
- Place the tagine over low heat and drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions, celery and carrot then place the lid on the tagine.
- Cook for 15 minutes or until vegetables are soft but not browned. Make sure to stir every two minutes or so.
- Add the eggplant, preserved lemon, salt, pepper, tomato, dates, sugar, and the rest of the chermoula. Cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the stock and cover the tagine with the lid. Let it cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the lid and gently stir. Place the chermoula-marinated seafood on top of the mixture and cover with the lid.
- Cook for another 5 minutes then check the fish. You will know the fish is cooked when the flesh flakes upon pressing on it.
- Remove from heat and garnish with fresh coriander, flat-leaf parsley, and mint. Place the tagine at the centre of your table and tuck in. This recipe serves six.
Recipe adapted from Emile Henry