1 large onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 chopped chilli (optional)

500g carrots, ideally bunched or heritage carrots for flavour, you could also add squash, sweet potato, parsnip or celeriac if you have some.

2 tbsp Ras el Hanout Spices (see below)

1 tbsp Tomato puree

I carton of tomato passata or 1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 tin chickpeas, drained

A handful of chopped dates or apricots

1 tbsp Pomegranate Molasses (optional)

Salt, pepper, brown sugar and lemon to taste

Chopped coriander to garnish

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 200c/gas mark 6

Peel, halve lengthways, and chop the carrots into 1cm chunks (add any other vegetables you like such as squash, parsnip, celeriac, chopped into cubes). Place in a roasting dish and drizzle with a little olive oil and a good sprinkle of the Ras el Hanout Spices. Place in the oven for 20-30 minutes so that the carrots are softened and starting to brown.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan heat a splash of oil and gently fry the onions until they are soft. Add the garlic (and chilli if using) and stir for a couple of minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the spices and keep stirring. Add the tomato puree and a splash of water and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the roasted carrots and add the tinned tomatoes or passata, chickpeas and season well. Simmer for 20 minutes and then add the dates, pomegranate molasses and cook gently, taste and season with salt, pepper sugar and lemon. Sprinkle on the chopped coriander.

Serve with cous cous, harrisa and pitta breads

 

Ras el Hanout Spices

You can use a shop bought Moroccan spice blend such as Ras el Hanout or make your own. Spice blends always taste better if you grind your own from whole spices and will keep in a jar for months. This quantity will make about four tagines. If you don’t have time to grind your own spices just use ready powdered spices.

 

2 tbsp cumin seeds

2 tbsp coriander seeds

1 cinnamon stick, crumbled (or 2 tsp ground cinnamon)

2 cloves

2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp ground turmeric

 

Heat a frying pan and add the coriander seeds, cinnamon and cloves, shake for a few minutes and then add the cumin, which toasts quicker. Dry fry until, stirring or tossing all the time, until the spices smell fragrant and there is a very light smoke. Transfer straight away to a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. Crush the seeds until they are a fine powder, Stir in the ginger, paprika and turmeric.