Lamb tagine with butternut squash and cauliflower couscous
This fragrant Moroccan-inspired stew is perfect for a cosy weekend dinner with friends, or to use up lamb from your Easter lunch as a healthy supper. Serve with cauliflower couscous to make it an even healthier treat.
- Cauliflower is very low in calories and a good alternative to rice or couscous for anyone watching their weight
- Cauliflower also contains vital B vitamins, good for maintaining energy levels
For the tagine
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- ½ lemon, juice & zest
- 1 bunch fresh coriander, finely chopped
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion
- 1tbsp baharat spice mix
- 500g shoulder of lamb (preferably organic), boned & diced
- 1 small butternut squash, deseeded, peeled & chopped into 2cm chunks
- 400g tin chickpeas, rinsed
- 2 400g tins chopped tomatoes
- 10 unsulphured organic dried apricots
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 bunch fresh coriander
For the cauliflower couscous
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1 large head cauliflower
- 1 lemon, juice
- Large bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Small punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
- Start by crushing the garlic to a paste in a pestle and mortar – adding a teaspoon of sea salt will make this easier, as the rough edges of the salt work as an abrasive. Then add the coriander and cumin seeds and crush well, releasing all the deliciously fragrant oils. Finally, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, chopped coriander leaves, lemon juice and zest and combine well. If you don’t have a pestle and mortar, putting all the ingredients together in a food processor will work just as well. Pour the mixture over the diced lamb and set aside.
- Heat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large oven-proof saucepan, or tagine, and add the diced onion. When the onion starts to soften, add the baharat spice mix, stir and allow the fragrance to fill the room, but be careful not to let it burn. Add the lamb and its marinade to the pot, stirring occasionally to seal the meat, before adding the chunks of butternut squash. Allow all of this to cook gently for 5 minutes, while stirring occasionally, before adding the chickpeas and chopped tomatoes. Bring the stew up to the boil, add the apricots and cinnamon stick and cover. Place into the preheated oven for 1 and a half hours.
- While the tagine is in the oven, prepare the cauliflower couscous. Cut the cauliflower into small florets and place in a food processor, blitzing until the vegetable forms a couscous-like consistency (you may need to do this in batches). Heat 1tbsp olive oil in a pan and add the cauliflower. Cook the cauliflower for 10 – 15 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley and lemon juice. Pour into a beautiful serving dish and garnish with halved cherry tomatoes.
- Remove the tagine from the oven, sprinkle over some freshly chopped coriander and serve.