Stovetop Lemon Roasted Aubergine Tagine

by - May 18, 2017

As you can see, the blog is still in a bit of a mess. I still have exams. Although in a week and 2 days, I will be a *FREE ELF*.

Even though my entire future is pretty much resting on how well the next week goes (okay, maybe not my whole life), here I am, posting a recipe even though I said I wouldn't.

I couldn't resist. 
(also, this is a gazillion times more exciting that learning about the neural coding of pitch)

Now here is some kickass good lemony tagine. The first time I tried a tagine was in Camden market in a little middle eastern place which smelled of bubblegum. Or, what I later realised, what was actually the smell of shisha.

The tagine arrived, in a lovely painted terracotta pot with a little roof. How cute! We had it with couscous and then mopped up whatever was left with the free-flow of pitta bread.

It was a great meal.

I don't have a tagine pot, nor do I currently have the time to wait an hour or so for my tagine to cook in the oven (refer to rant about exams above). So here is a quick, cheat's tagine, all on the stove top. Of course, if you don't have exams coming up and can spare an hour, there is also the option to make this in the oven.

Now I want a tagine pot. I'm off to eBay (and then to the library, I promise)!

Stovetop Lemon Roasted Aubergine Tagine
Serves 3-4
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch ginger, peeled and minced finely
1 tbsp harissa
1 tbsp smoked paprika 
1 tsp cumin
1 cinnamon stick, broken into half, or 1/2 tsp cinnamon
5-6 cardamom pods, crushed
1 tsp-tbsp vegan liquid sweetener (e.g. brown rice syrup_
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup raisins 
1 cup dry couscous 
1 eggplant
Juice of one lemon
Sesame seeds, or toasted almonds

Preheat the oven to 200C. First, prepare the aubergine by chopping it into cubes, place it on a baking tray and pour over half the lemon juice, a pinch of salt and some olive oil, if using. Roast this in the oven for 15-20 minutes. In a saucepan, fry the onion and garlic until fragrant. Add in the ginger, harissa paprika, cumin, cinnamon and cardamom, and fry another 1-2 minutes until aromatic. Add in the sweetener, tomatoes, chickpeas and raisins, and let it simmer. Throw in the eggplant when it is done. Let it reduce down until the tomatoes are thick and not watery anymore. As this is cooking, place the dry couscous in a bowl, add 1 cup of boiling water and cover it with a plate to let it cook. Fluff the couscous with a fork once it is ready (about 6 minutes). Add the rest of the lemon once the tagine is ready and garnish with cilantro and sesame seeds. You can also make all of this in an oven, by simply cooking in an oven-safe dish or tagine pot and popping it into the oven after the step where you add the chickpeas, raisins and aubergine. Bake for 40-60 minutes until thick. 

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