The weather here has been awful for the last few days, constantly grey and cold, nothing like May should be at all. In a spirit of optimism we planted a whole lot of vegetable seeds last week but it’s been so chilly I’m not entirely convinced they’ll survive. However, there are reports of things warming up a bit later in the week; hmm…I’ll believe it when I see it!
So…what to eat? It’s too cold for light summery meals but I feel heavier winter meals should be over by now. I just didn’t know what to do for dinner last night; it was a case of opening the fridge to see what inspired me.
I finished up making this tagine; I’ve followed tagine recipes in the past that I’ve not been too impressed with, they just didn’t seem to do it for me, so this time I made it up as I went along, adding more of this and less of that to suit our taste. I make no claims as to its authenticity (I know you don’t usually find paneer in a tagine!) but we enjoyed it and I’ll definitely make it again.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp each of cumin, paprika and cinnamon
½ tsp chilli flakes
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into batons
1 red pepper, cut into chunks
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp honey
250g paneer, cubed
1 tin chickpeas, drained
100g dried apricots, halved
handful of chopped coriander
275ml boiling stock
zest and juice of 1 lemon
50g toasted flaked almonds
handful of chopped parsley
Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion over a medium heat for five minutes; add the garlic and the spices and cook for a further minute or two.
Add everything else, except the chopped coriander, stir well and bring to the boil; pop a lid on and turn the heat down. Leave to simmer gently for 45 minutes.
About 10 minutes before the tagine is ready put the couscous, zest and juice of the lemon in a large bowl; add the boiling stock, stir once, cover the bowl with a plate and leave for 8-10 minutes. When all the stock has been absorbed, fluff up the couscous with a fork and stir in the toasted almonds and the chopped parsley.
Stir ¾ of the coriander into the tagine before serving and sprinkle the rest of it on top.