spicy potato tagine

veggie tagine

If you're after comfort food that makes your palate zing, this is the dish! It's spicy and delicious and perfect for a cold evening. A tagine traditionally calls for fresh coriander - but as that is my husband's most loathed fresh herb, I have used parsley instead which works incredibly well. He's not the world's biggest olive fan either but has made no complaints about the green ones that appear in this tagine. It's perfect for the fussy (yet also adventurous) eaters in your lives! 

The lemon is a vital ingredient. I have made this tagine with fresh lemon and picked lemon - both taste great so you can decide. Pickled lemons are so easy to get hold of in the UK - in the world food aisle of both Asda and Morrisons, you should be able to find a big jar of them for the bargain price of £1.80. 

Potatoes are a wonderful thing to use in a dish such as this, because they soak up all the delicious juices and become so flavourful. It's one of my absolute favourite things to make at the moment - this recipe will feed at least 4 hungry people, if not more. If you are feeding more than 4, adding a can of chickpeas will stretch it even further.

Spicy potato tagine

Based on a recipe from Lindsay Bareham's Dinner Tonight

2 medium or 1 large onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
10g butter
4 large cloves of garlic (or 2 cubes of frozen garlic)
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 tablespoons ras el hanout Moroccan spice mix
1 kg bag new or baby potatoes
1 large lemon or 6-8 small pickled lemons
1 vegetable stock cube or 1 tablespoon Marigold vegetable bouillon powder
100g pitted green olives
1 bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh red chill, finely chopped, to serve (optional)
Brown rice, to serve

Peel and chop the onions. Place the butter and oil in a heavy-based casserole (I use my Le Creuset cast iron shallow casserole - one of the best things I've ever bought, for the kitchen or otherwise) on a medium heat. Melt the butter and then stir in the onions. Cook on a low heat until the onion is softening but not brown.

Add the garlic, turmeric and ras el hanout, stir well and increase the heat slightly, cooking for a few minutes until fragrant. Don't let it burn (add water if getting dry).

Boil the kettle. Assemble your potatoes - as I usually use baby or new potatoes, they are often fine to put in whole. Halve any overly big ones, as you want them roughly the same size. 

Add the potatoes to the pan, getting everything nicely coated in the spicy juices. Dissolve the stock cube or powder in 1 litre of boiling water from the kettle, and add to the pan. 

Quarter the pickled lemons, removing any pips. Chop the lemon pieces finely. Add this to the pan. Alternatively, if using a whole fresh lemon, use a peeler to scrape shirt button-sized pieces of lemon peel into the pan. 

Chop the parsley, including the stalks. Reserve the leaves for later, add the chopped stalks to the pan along with the green olives. 

Bring the pan to a gentle simmer and cover, cooking for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are cooked and roughly half the liquid has been absorbed. I like a bit of sauce! 

Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Add fresh chilli if using. Serve with brown rice and a scattering of fresh parsley.