Tangine without the Tangine?

Yes folks, this is possible.

Kelson and I discovered the deliciousness that is tangine last year.  Aside from the political, environmental, and evolutionary arguments about eating meat; sometimes your body just wants a break and is in need of vegetables.  Did I lose some of my readers just now?  🙂

What better way to engage in the tasty delights of veggies, but to make tangine.

Now, let me preface that tagine is known as two things: the dish and the cooking device (both of North African origin).  Tangine, the cooking device, is usually made of clay.  It usually consists of two parts:  a plate and a funnel-shaped top.  Tagines are used to make delectable slow-cooked stews that are braised at low temperatures.  Ironically, Moroccan tangines (the dish) are usually made in a tangine.

Tangines, the dish, can have meats like lamb, but my favorite is a slow-cooked vegetable tangine.  The flavors are complicated, inviting, and great for a warm meal at home.

If you are like me, I hate owning cooking devices that are not utilized in the home for more than one purpose (examples of underutilized, non-utilitarian devices: spring-form pans).  I would like to purchase a tangine, but currently we have not made enough tangine to make it worth the cost.  Therefore, how do you make this delicious dish without the key cooking device for which it’s name derives from?

Say hello to your cast iron friend… The Le Creusat.

I was not a believer until we received one as a wedding gift.  I know.  Hard to tell considering how many times it’s already been photographed in the blog.  BUT these things are amazing!  Everyone should own a cast iron enamal pot!  Whether it’s from Le Creusat, Martha Stewart, The Lodge (Wal-Mart and Amazon), or Ikea… you need this!  I am a firm believer that all you need is a wok, a frying pan, and a cast iron pot to have a complete kitchen of cookware.  Kelson begs to differ… being the ultimate baker and cook that he is.

The cast iron pot, turns out, not only can make Russian boursche or chilli, but can be the home to your delicious tangine.

Vegetable Tangine Recipe

Adapted from CHOW.com’s recipe

Servings: 6


For the tagine:

  • 6 tbl olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced


  • 3 medium carrots, peeled, diced
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 quart (4 cups) vegetable broth
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, large dice
  • 1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 lemon, seeds removed, finely chopped

To serve:

  • 3 cups dry couscous
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek-style yogurt

1.  In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot; add onion, salt and pepper.  Stir the ingredients together until the onions are soft and translucent (about 5 minutes).

2.  Mix in the cumin and cinnamon stick for about 1 minute.  Then mix in the ginger and garlic and cook for about 1 minute more.

3.  Mix in the carrots and cook until the carrots are tender.

4.  Mix in the tomatoes (with the juice), vegetable broth, and saffron.  Stir it together and bring it to a simmer.  Cover the pot and cook for about 7 minutes.

5.  Mix in the cauliflower, chickpeas, and lemon.  Cook for about another 10 minutes.  And get ready for some delicious tangine!

6.  For the couscous, I usually trust the box instructions on hand.  Overcooked or couscous in too much water is not fun.  Read carefully!  For the most part… bring another small pot of water to a boil.  Pour in the couscous and turn off the heat.  Cover the pot and let it stand for about 5 minutes.

Tangine is SO DELICIOUS.  It’s great by itself… or if you happened to have made the couscous, pour a big ol’ heaping spoonful of tangine and top it with some greek yogurt and scallions.  Enjoy!


2 thoughts on “Tangine without the Tangine?

  1. I love Moroccan food…and that tangine looks absolutely superb. So colorful too, it’s as much a feast for the eyes as the tastebuds! I’m so glad that you’ve considered having a vegetarian meal every so often…if you ever need ideas, well… you know who to come to!

    • I will definitely hit you up for some inspiration! I feel like we never get enough veg in our diet. Carbs are so good!!! LOL. Appreciate all the support! (P.S. If you feel like a nice meal and are in SF, NOPA makes a ridiculously good tangine…)

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