butternut squash, sweet potato & chickpea tagine

Butternut squash & sweet potato tagine
Butternut squash & sweet potato tagine

While I was preparing this comforting, sweetly-spiced vegetable tagine, it occurred to me that we hardly ever eat vegetarian food at home. In fact, if I’m honest, probably only when we’re cooking for non-meat eaters. I often happily go without meat or fish when eating out, so I’m not sure why vegetarian cuisine has been all but abandoned in our household. I’m tempted to blame our carnivorous ways on the fact that I live with a devout meat-lover, but really I think I’m equally complicit.

Anyway, I’m pleased to say that this dish was a hit with the whole family and inspired us to make our diet a little less meat-heavy. The butternut squash is roasted in honey and then simmered in a pan until it breaks down, creating a luscious, earthy-sweet sauce. The sweet potato, chickpeas and pepper add robust texture and help turn the dish into a hearty, flavoursome feast. This also scores pretty highly in the health stakes, which I guess is never a bad thing.

Since this dish takes a while to prepare, it’s worth cooking a large batch when you have a bit of time on your hands, and then dividing it into portions to freeze. I’d recommend serving it with Lemon & herb couscous, rice or pitta bread.

Print recipe
Butternut squash, sweet potato & chickpea tagine
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 7.
  2. Arrange the butternut squash on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the honey and 2 tbsp oil, and place in the oven. Set a timer for 20 minutes.
  3. While the butternut squash is in the oven, arrange the pepper and sweet potato together on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tbsp oil. Once the butternut squash has been in the oven for 20 minutes, place the pepper and sweet potato in the oven (without removing the butternut squash) and roast for 20 minutes.
  4. Heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, fry the onion for 5-6 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a further 3-4 minutes until the mixture is soft and golden.
  6. Add the stock, tomato purée, cinnamon, smoked paprika, cumin, ground coriander and butternut squash, and season well with salt. Bring the mixture to the boil over a high heat, reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir the tagine every 10 minutes or so. Towards the end of the cooking process, start breaking down the butternut squash with the back of a spoon.
  7. Add the sweet potato, pepper and chickpeas to the saucepan and simmer for a further 15 minutes.
TO SERVE (2 PORTIONS)
  1. Arranged the hot tagine on plates or in bowls and sprinkle over the fresh coriander.
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