Microwaving the sweet potatoes speeds up this version of vegetable tagine. (Linda Gassenheimer)

Microwaving the sweet potatoes speeds up this version of vegetable tagine. (Linda Gassenheimer)

Fragrant dish captures the flavors of Moroccan tagine

Unlike traditional tagine, this version doesn’t require hours of cooking 0n the stovetop.

  • Tuesday, September 29, 2020 1:30am
  • Life

Vegetables mixed with fragrant spices of cinnamon, ginger and turmeric make a savory Moroccan tagine. A tagine is a dish made in a glazed earthenware dish with a conical lid, which is also called a tagine. Steam gathers at the top of the lid and falls on the food, keeping it moist. Any type of skillet or casserole can be used for this quick dish.

This recipe captures the flavors of a Moroccan tagine without the usual hours spent cooking one. To speed the cooking time even more, the sweet potatoes first cook for a minute in the microwave oven.

Helpful hints:

■ Look for reduced-sodium canned lentils and chickpeas. You can also use frozen ones.

■ If using spices you have on hand, make sure they are less than 6 months old.

Countdown:

■ Prepare ingredients.

■ Microwave the potatoes.

■ Complete making the recipe.

Shopping list:

To buy: ½ pound sweet potatoes, 1 bottle ground ginger, 1 bottle ground turmeric, 1 bottle ground cinnamon, 1 small can reduced-sodium chickpeas, 1 small can reduced-sodium lentils, 1 large can reduced-sodium whole tomatoes, 1 small package raisins and 1 bunch cilantro.

Staples: olive oil, onion, minced garlic, salt and black peppercorns.

Vegetable tagine

½ pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes (about 2 cups)

1 tablespoon olive oil, divided use

1 cup sliced onion

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ cup reduced-sodium chickpeas, rinsed and drained

½ cup reduced-sodium lentils, rinsed and drained

3 cups reduced-sodium canned whole tomatoes with their juice

½ cup raisins

10 fresh cilantro sprigs

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Several cilantro leaves, for garnish

Microwave potatoes on high for 1 minute. Set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to saute 2 minutes. Add the ginger, turmeric and cinnamon. Stir to combine. Saute 1 minute. Add the sweet potatoes, chickpeas, lentils, tomatoes, raisins and cilantro sprigs. Break up tomatoes with the edge of a cooking spoon. Cover with a lid, lower heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes. Remove cilantro sprigs and add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle cilantro leaves on top.

Makes 2 servings. Nutrition per serving: 627 calories (15% from fat),10.5 grams fat (1.4 grams saturated, 3.9 grams monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 24.5 grams protein, 119.6 grams carbohydrates, 34.3 grams fiber, 215 milligrams sodium.

Linda Gassenheimer is the author of more than 30 cookbooks, including her newest, “The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook.” Email her at linda@dinnerinminutes.com.

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