Gentle spices make this vegetable casserole delicious and appetite-stimulating. If you prefer a more lightly spiced version, the tagine works equally well with half the quantities of spices.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes
Light olive oil, for frying
2 red onions, cut into thick slices
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 garlic cloves, crushed
20g fresh ginger, grated
2 tablespoons harissa paste
1 small butternut squash, peeled and sliced into 2cm cubes
3 parsnips, cubed
2 carrots, diagonally sliced
200g dried red lentils
2 x 400g tins tomatoes
1 litre vegetable stock
40g unsulphured dried apricots, roughly chopped
Large bunch fresh flatleaf parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped
Salt and black pepper, to season
Couscous, to serve
Add a glug of oil to a large casserole and fry the onions over a medium heat for 5-6 minutes, until they start to soften.
Add the ground spices and fry for a few minutes more, then add the garlic and ginger and fry for another couple of minutes, stirring.
Add the harissa paste, stir and fry for another few minutes until aromatic, then add the squash, parsnips and carrots. Turn down the heat and cook, stirring regularly, for 5-10 minutes.
Add the red lentils, tomatoes and stock, then season to taste. Bring up to a simmer and add the apricots.
Put the lid on the casserole and leave to simmer on a low heat for 50 minutes.
Remove the lid, stir in half the chopped parsley and check the seasoning.
Test if the vegetables are ready by piercing with the tip of round-bladed knife – if it goes in easily, they are ready.
Serve the tagine with warmed couscous, scattered with the remaining parsley.