Ilse Cooks the Books: Vegetable Tagine
08:52 Mon, 27 May 2019
Ilse Cooks the Books: Vegetable Tagine | News Article
There is something about the weather turning cooler that makes me crave spice. When I say spice, I don’t necessarily mean heat – although I quite like a bit of chilli! No, I mean rich layers of flavour that sings in your mouth.

I prefer more simple tastes in summer when the heat outside demands some cooling, uncomplicated flavours. However, in winter one can really indulge in something with a bit more body. 

In May, I’m celebrating the colours of autumn. Last week, it was yellow and this week it’s orange.  There are so many orange foods to choose from – oranges (obviously!), clementines, carrots, sweet potatoes… I chose pumpkin, one of my favourite vegetables. I was tempted to make the ultimate cold-weather pumpkin dish, good old butternut soup, but then I found this tasty little dish, full of warming spices and delicious to eat.


They might as well have called this pumpkin tagine, because it basically is just pumpkin cooked with spices and tomatoes.  But it does get the addition of a few green beans, so vegetable tagine it is.  Serve it with some herby couscous, and you’ve got a delicious Moroccan-inspired dish for dinner!

Serves 4

40 ml olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 heaped teaspoon grated ginger

2 teaspoons (10 ml) ground cumin

2 teaspoons (10 ml) ground coriander

1 teaspoon (5 ml) paprika

1 cinnamon stick

1 kg pumpkin, peeled and cut into cubes (not too small, otherwise it will go mushy)

500 ml vegetable stock

175 g green beans, topped

2 heaped teaspoons chopped mint (I didn’t use quite as much, but it does add something fresh)

2 heaped teaspoons chopped coriander

40 ml honey (I didn’t use this at all, because for me the dish was sweet enough)

Salt and black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium heat.  Cook the onion for 3-4 minutes, or until softened.  Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.  Add the ground cumin, ground coriander, paprika and cinnamon stick and cook for another minute until fragrant. Add the pumpkin, canned tomatoes and vegetable stock and stir to combine.  Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender.  Add the green beans and cook for a further five minutes, until tender and bright green.  When ready to serve, stir in mint, coriander and honey. 

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