Updated: Nov 25, 2021
Basic ingredients (4 people)
Some dried apricots (or raisins or prunes - depending on your cupboard and supermarket stocks)
Red dried lentils (or a can of pre-cooked green/red is fine)
1 x brown onion
1 x butternut squash
Couscous or rice or bread (your preference)
Spices: garlic (any), chilli, cumin, coriander, smokey paprika, cinnamon, turmeric
Luxury ingredients (optional)
1 fresh tomato per person / punnet of cherry tomatoes
Harissa paste (you can find in normal supermarkets)
Selection of meals prepared by the foodies in this week's class
Oven on 200° fan/180° normal/gas mark 6
Cut squash squash into chunks/strips, leave skin on and save the seeds (rinse them and dry on towel roll). Slice onion.
Cook the onion 10-12 minutes until caramelised (turn down temperature accordingly over the time so it doesn't burn).
Add in this order and stirring after each spice
You will have a nice spicy onion mix now, so add your red lentils (60g/pp) and your dried apricots. Stir and leave for 2 minutes for lentils to absorb the flavours.
Add 1 tin of tomatoes, a tin of stock (or water) and simmer.
Then add 1-2tsp harissa. Add a pinch of saffron strands (if using), 2-4tsp of ground almonds, and a pinch of sugar/squeeze of honey to balance out the acid of the tomatoes.
Next add fresh tomatoes (halved/quartered if large) or half a punnet of cherry tomatoes.
Your add your grated lemon zest and cook on stove for about 20 minutes until sauce is thick and lentils are cooked. Add more water to give consistency you like and add the courgette slices - cook with a lid on until they are soft.
In the mean time, mix your dried squash seeds with olive oil and spices of your choice (chilli/paprika/cumin/turmeric) - not all of them) and put in oven on a tray until you hear them pop, usually 10-15 minutes.
Prepare your couscous with a ratio of couscous: boiling liquid (1:1.5)
This means, for every one mug of couscous add 1.5 mugs of boiling water/stock (serves 4 people).
Pour boiling liquid over couscous in a big bowl. Stir, cover, and leave for 10 mins. Perfect every time.
Your butternut squash should be caramelised in places and a little chewy, add on top of your tagine.
The finishing touches are important to add texture and variations of flavours
Top with your toasted seeds and any/all:
grated lemon zest
fresh herbs (mint/parsley/coriander)
Food artistry by one of our foodies
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