This hearty tagine with roots vegetables has quickly become one of my favourite dishes.

The dish is a perfect example of how a new recipe can quickly rise the ranks and take the spot of favourite dish of the year. This was last year’s favourite. And I am still making it on a biweekly basis.

It also introduced me to the wonderful world of parsnips. Strangely enough I’d never eaten them. Again they’re one of those vegetables that weren’t part of my upbringing — similar to how the butternut squash in week one’s stamppot has only become a staple since I moved to the UK.

I found this recipe in Sainsbury’s magazine and have only made slight tweaks. Mostly to the order of preparation. I’ve also experimented with the type of harissa paste used as the base of the tagine — the regular red harissa paste gives a sweeter flavour than the green harissa paste. I will leave it up to you to decide how sweet you want this dish to be.


15 minutes preparation + 25 minutes cooking — serves 3 to 4 (makes for an excellent lunch or dinner the next day)


  • 350grams carrots
  • 400grams parsnips
  • 2 small red onions
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 100-120 grams dried apricots (100grams is enough but if you like things a bit sweeter, you can add more)
  • 200grams dried couscous
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1.5-2 tablespoons ras el hanout
  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste (green or red – see introduction about taste)
  • Oil
  • Water

Roasting the vegetables

  1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.
  2. Peel the carrots and parsnips. Cut everything into equal sticks of about 1 cm think and 4-5cm long.
  3. Mix the carrots and parsnips with the olive oil and 1-1.5 tablespoon of ras el hanout in a large oven dish.
  4. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Set aside once ready. If your oven dish isn’t large enough and the vegetables are stacked on top of each other, make sure to stir them up halfway through to make sure everything roasts equally.

Preparing the tagine

  1. Peel and cut the red onions into rings.
  2. Heat oil in a large pan, and once hot, fry the onions for about 6 minutes on a medium heat until they start to soften.
  3. Bring 500ml water to a boil (easiest to use a kettle). Once boiled, create a vegetable stock by dissolving the vegetable stock cube.
  4. Cut the dried apricots in half.
  5. Drain the can of chickpeas.
  6. Once the onions have started to soften, add 0.5 tablespoon of ras el hanout and the harissa paste. Cook for another minute to release flavour.
  7. Add 300ml of the vegetable stock, the full can of chopped tomatoes, chickpeas, and apricots to the pan. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Note: don’t throw away the remaining vegetable stock.

Bringing it all together

  1. Top up the remaining vegetable stock with 200ml water. Reheat in a sauce pan.
  2. Once the stock comes to a boil, remove from the heat and add the couscous. Cover with a lid and let it stand for 5 minutes until the couscous is tender.
  3. Add the roasted roots vegetables to the tagine and mix through. Cover with a lid and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  4. Fluff up the couscous with a fork and serve with the tagine.
Enjoy your meal!

Did you like this?

Leave a comment below if you made this recipe, and let me know what you think. Tips and feedback to improve the recipe are always welcome too!

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