Marrakesh Inspired Brown Lentil Tagine
Fully spiced and all vegan, this brown lentil tagine is basically a stew that has a spice blend that’s inspired by the complex spices that are used in Marrakesh.
We spent a beautiful week in Morocco several years ago. I fell in love with so many things in the country. I’ve already posted my Mint Sparkler inspired by that trip. Here we make a Marrakesh inspired Brown Lentil Tagine.
I mention Marrakesh, since we stayed in other parts of Morocco and the food varies from region to region, we had this style of brown lentil tagine in Marrakesh.
I should mention, being in Marrakesh made me fall in love with bread. It was riding down the streets in wheelbarrows covered in sheets, beautifully fresh and so tasty. It was served with every meal, including all the tagines we ate. It wasn’t like the bread in North America, it was not overly processed, not full of sugar and fillers and my whole gluten free family could eat it with no symptoms. Huh!?!
I spent a bunch of time, about a year, after we got home making an effort to understand what bread based cultures are about. I researched grains and sourdough and what wild and store bought yeasts are. I served my year long perfected gluten-free sourdough with the Marrakesh Inspired Brown Lentil Tagine. I will be making a whole series of recipes and gluten free starter to this blog when the weather turns a little less summer.
In the meantime, we put simple things in brown lentil tagine recipe, carrots, onions, celery, garlic, vegetable stock from Cookin’ It Easy, it takes a couple hours to make a stock and a couple hours to soak the lentils, which means you could make a quick vegetable stock if you needed to for this recipe. I believe in you!
A huge surprise with the tagines we ate while in Marrakesh was the vegetable marrow (sometimes called grey zucchini) that was inside. This vegetable is not like zucchini, it doesn’t get soggy when it’s cooked and it has so much flavour. This vegetable is worth seeking out.
Marrakesh Inspired Brown Lentil Tagine
- large skillet with lid
- cutting board
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- 1 ½ cups brown lentils
- 3 cups water
- 2 tbsp cumin
- 1 ½ tbsp coriander
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- ½ tbsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp xanthan gum
- pinch saffron threads
- 1 each onion, rough chopped
- 3 each garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 each celery stalk, rough chopped
- 3 each turnips small, ½" dice
- 1 each carrot, ½" dice
- 1 each vegetable marrow (grey zucchini) ½" dice
- 2 tbsp roast garlic infused olive oil, from cookin' it easy
- 3 each lemon slices
- 1 litre vegetable stock, from cookin' it easy
- 1 tsp harissa paste, optional
- Pour brown lentils and water into a bowl. Allow to soak for 3 hours to soften lentils.
- Lentils should double in size
- If you don't have a vegetable stock, now is your chance to make a quick one! https://cookiniteasy.com/vegetable-stock/
3-5 hours later....Prepare
- Chop all vegetables to desired sizes
- Prepare spice blend, mix together so it can spread evenly over the tagine.
Build into a large skillet
- Heat pan on medium high heat. Add olive oil and coat pan.
- Begin building the tagine in the pan, you will hear it beginning to cook as you build, don't stir, turn the heat down if it begins to cook too fast.Onions first in a cross pattern, garlic slices go in the four quadrants created by the onions.
- Next layer is celery over the garlic
- Then layer on carrots, turnips and vegetable marrow.
- Strain your lentils, removing the majority of the water, pour over the vegetable base.Lentils should be pilled in the middle rather than spread over the whole vegetable base.
- Add the spice blend as evenly as you can over the lentils.
- Add the harissa paste and pour the stock over top of the lentils and spice
- Add lemon wheels and turn the heat up to high, cover and bring to a simmer, once simmering turn the heat down to keep simmering for 25 minutes
- Serve with fresh bread, olives, more harissa paste and more salt to taste (lentils need salt!)