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Aubergine And Quince Tagine

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Aubergine And Quince Tagine

This vegetarian tagine is flavoured with a hot spicy paste called harissa, saffron, cinnamon and fresh thyme. It's delicious served as is, or allowed to cool and then rolled up in filo pastry and baked and served with couscous to mop up all the sweet pungent juices.


  • 1 cup chick peas
  • ½ cup brown lentils
  • 1 aubergine
  • about 1 tblsp salt
  • ¼ cup oil, preferably light olive
  • 6 baby onions, peeled and quartered
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 quince or pear, peeled, cored and finely diced
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup harissa (recipe follows)
  • few sprigs thyme
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ¼ tsp saffron threads
  • 2 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 2-3 chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 preserved lemon (see separate recipe)


  1. Soak the chick peas in plenty of cold water for at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse in plenty of cold water. Drain well.
  2. Soak the lentils in cold water for 15 minutes before cooking time begins. Cut the aubergine into 1cm thick slices and arrange in a colander in one layer. Sprinkle with a little salt and then arrange a second layer on top. Continue in this way until all the aubergine and salt has been used. Allow to stand for 20 minutes.
  3. Heat the oil in a large, lidded oven-proof casserole. Cook the onions in the oil over a moderate heat for about 10 minutes until they have softened and gained a little colour.
  4. Rinse the aubergine well and pat dry on absorbent paper. Cut into long finger-shaped lengths and add to the casserole with the well drained chick peas and lentils. Add carrots, quince or pear, tomatoes, harissa, thyme, cinnamon stick, saffron, salt, pepper and stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 1 hour until the chick peas are tender. Alternatively the tagine can be cooked in a 180°C oven for 1 hour.
  5. Season the tagine with extra harissa if wished. Just before serving toss in the coriander and the finely shredded preserved lemon. Serve over couscous.

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