Gluten free, soy free, nut free, yeast free. What could be more sumptuous on a wintry day than to slowly cook this fragrant and rich tagine, packed full of vegetables and sweetened with spice and agave syrup.
The combination of spices are really a guideline so do feel free to add or subtract as you wish – if you don’t like a certain spice, just leave it out. You can also ring the changes with the vegetables used: parsnips, sweet potato and courgettes would all work. This is really about the beautiful fragrance and taste of the dish: serve it with a big bowl of brown rice and some steamed broccoli, it’s sure to warm you up!
Serves 4 – 6
Place the cardamom, coriander seeds and allspice berries in a dry frying pan and heat over a medium flame until you can smell their fragrant scent – about 1 minute but keep an eye on them. Transfer to a pestle and mortar and grind to a fine powder.
Next, combine all of the spices together in a small bowl. Pour over 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and all of the agave syrup. Stir together until combined.
Preheat the oven to 120c. Peel the onion and cut into half moon slices, slice the garlic into thin rounds. Next, peel and deseed the squash. Chop the squash, fennel and aubergine into large chunks approximately 4 cm in size.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a large heavy based casserole. Gently fry the onion and garlic until softened. Add the squash and fry with the onion until the squash begins to give at the edges. Add the fennel and aubergine to the pan and stir together. Pour over the spice mixture and stir in until evenly mixed, frying for a further minute. Pour over the tomatoes and puree, bring to a rolling simmer and then cover and transfer to the oven to cook slowly for 2 – 3 hours.