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Pumpkin and chickpea tagine

By November 2, 2010

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I'm very fond of Moroccan food. I love the slow-cooking and use of colorful, fragrant spices and herbs. The spicy, fresh flavors of Moroccan cuisine are becoming increasingly popular in Australia and it's not uncommon to see the uniquely-shaped tagine pots sold in cookware stores.

A tagine is a stewed dish that is cooked in a heavy-based shallow clay pot with a conical lid. The lid is cleverly crafted so that the condensation returns back into the bottom of the pot. Hours of slow cooking at low temperatures result in tender fall off the bone meat and fragrant vegetables. If you don't have a tagine, then a large saucepan or soup pot with a tight-fitting lid will also do the trick.

This particular tagine recipe is vegetarian and it's one of my favourites. It only takes 35 minutes to cook and the results are gorgeous. I use butternut squash for the sweetest results and I find it holds it shape best when stewed. Also, if you love fresh herbs like parsley and cilantro (coriander) then this is just the recipe for you to use handfuls.

Photo: S. Wongkaew (2010) licensed to About.com, Inc

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