Smoky aubergine tagine with lemon & apricots


2 aubergines, cut into large chunks

3 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, chopped

2 tbsp freshly grated ginger

1½ tsp ras el hanout

1½ tsp sweet smoked paprika

good pinch of saffron

300ml hot vegetable or chicken stock

2 preserved lemons, rind of both sliced, pulp from the centre of 1 roughly chopped

120g dried apricots, halved

200g tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 tbsp clear honey

zest 1 lemon, juice ½

2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 tbsp finely chopped mint

Greek yogurt, to serve (optional)

wholemeal bulghar wheat, to serve (optional)


  1. Brown the aubergines in 2 tbsp of the oil so they’re golden on all sides, but not soft in the middle yet – this is best done in batches in a large, non-stick frying pan.

  2. Heat a heavy-based shallow lidded pan or flameproof tagine with the remaining oil, then add the onions, ginger and spices, and fry gently until softened and golden.

  3. Meanwhile, add the saffron to the stock to soak. Stir the preserved lemon rind and pulp, apricots, tomatoes, honey and lemon juice into the onions with the saffron stock.

  4. Snugly fit the aubergines in, cover with a lid and simmer for 30 mins until the aubergines are tender.

  5. Season to taste.

  6. Mix together the lemon zest, sesame seeds and chopped herbs, and sprinkle over the tagine. Serve with Greek yogurt and wholemeal bulghar wheat, if you like.

#recipe #tagine #lemon #apricots

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