Tagine Tuesday- Cauliflower & Chickpea Tagine with berbere

Maybe it’s because Rob gave me a gorgeous red tagine for my birthday, or because the flavor profiles of these dishes are so versatile and go well with a variety of veggies. Or perhaps I just plain love these spices, but whatever the reason I have been making a bunch of riffs on this classic dish lately. My latest uses a berbere spice recipe from the cooking goddess Deborah Madison with cauliflower, and chickpeas. Pack in some additional flavor from olives, dried fruit, and toasted almonds and this was a hit last Tuesday.

  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 yellow or red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons berbere spice (recipe suggestion below)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1.5- 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped green olives
  • 1/2 a preserved lemon diced
  • 5 dried prunes chopped
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 sliced almonds
  • 1 teaspoon ghee or olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 bunch cilantro chopped
  • Optional: Baby spinach or arugula
  1. Heat olive oil in a tagine or heavy soup pot.
  2. Saute onion, pepper, and garlic until onion is translucent.
  3. Add cumin seeds and stir until fragrant
  4. Stir in cauliflower and add salt if desired -saute for 5 minutes.
  5. Add chickpeas, berbere, ginger, and cumin. Stir to combine until cauliflower is well coated.
  6. Add tomatoes and broth, preserved lemon and dried fruit. Bring to a boil.
  7. Simmer gently for about 20 minutes until cauliflower is tender and flavor has developed.
  8. Meanwhile toast almonds in butter or olive with salt until lightly browned.
  9. Add 1/2 of the chopped cilantro to tagine.
  10. Add greens if desired.
  11. Spoon into bowl & top with almonds and leftover cilantro.
  12. Serve with bread or a grain – we like quinoa, barley, bulgar or couscous.


Recipe for berbere spice from Deborah Madison’s In My Kitchen:

  • 2 teaspoons coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 4 allspice berries
  • 6 cardamom pods, husks discarded
  • 4 cloves
  • 3 tablespoons ground chile ( she suggests New Mexico if you can find it)
  • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika or regular sweet or hot
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

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