A tagine — a cone-shaped oven that creates a moist, hot cooking environment — is North Africa’s answer to the slow cooker.
Tagines come in multiple sizes, and require less liquid than a typical pan, pot or cooker. As food cooks in the wide, shallow base, steam rises into the cone, condenses and trickles down the sides back into the dish.
The result is a more concentrated flavour profile, which can be especially delicious with strong African, Spanish and Middle Eastern spices like paprika, garlic, turmeric and cardamom. A highly recommended pairing for balancing out these flavours is a pure fruit spread, like the globally known jars of Bonne Maman® INTENSE.
Made with more fruit and 38% less sugar than the common jam, INTENSE fruit spreads are made with natural ingredients and delicious fresh fruit chunks. The spreads are available in Wild Blueberry, Raspberry, Apricot, Strawberry with new additions, Cherry and Orange ; and because the fruit is so pure, the flavour is unlikely to be depleted or watered down in the tagine.
“I have been a fan of Bonne Maman for over 20 years now because they truly know how to capture the essence of fruit in those jars,” says says Canadian TV personality and cookbook author Christine Tizzard. “I’m especially loving the new INTENSE line and I’m using them up more and more in recipes or to accompany dishes.”
Christine shared with us her vegan take on a classic tagine you can try at home, which she describes as “a wonderfully spiced and fragrant one-pot wonder.” She goes on to say that “the rich, earthy, briny flavours of the spices and olives pair perfectly with Bonne Maman® INTENSE Apricot Spread.”
You can serve this on its own or overtop your choice of cooked grains like couscous or wild rice.
2 blocks (700g) firm tofu, cut into 2-inch cubes
Salt and black pepper, to taste
2-4 Tbsps olive or coconut oil, divided
2 onions, diced or thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground ginger or 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 hot chili pepper of choice, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
Optional: pinch saffron
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 cups cauliflower, chopped
1 cup rutabaga, chopped
1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
16 olives of choice
½ cup Bonne Maman® Intense Apricot Spread
1-2 cups low or no sodium vegetable stock
To garnish: lemon or lime wedges, chopped parsley or coriander, chopped nuts such as almonds
½ tsp cayenne pepper for fresh chili
sweet paprika for smoked paprika
potatoes, or other vegetables you like for rutabaga
chicken or lamb for tofu
1. In a large bowl, toss tofu cubes with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to season.
2. In a large heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven with lid, over medium high heat, add oil to coat bottom. Once hot, brown tofu on all sides, about 8 mins. Transfer to plate.
3. In the same pot/pan, stir in onions, garlic, and all remaining spices, adding more oil and lowering heat, if necessary. Sauté for about 5 minutes until onions are softened.
4. Stir in tomatoes, carrots, cauliflower, and rutabaga and let sauté in spices for about 3-5 minutes.
5. Stir in chickpeas, olives, Bonne Maman Intense Apricot Spread, and 1 cup of stock. Bring to simmer. Add tofu to coat in stew, cover and continue to let simmer for an additional 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender crisp. Add more stock if necessary.
6. Taste, adjust seasoning with more salt, pepper, hot chili, or apricot spread. Serve hot with optional garnishes.