Chickpea and Butternut Tagine

Pumpkin season is nearly over already! I know that they are available pretty much any time of year now, but there’s something special about seasonal ingredients–where’s the fun when you can get them whenever you want?

So while the winter nights are still chilly I like to make this tagine. It’s the perfect feel-good food. 

Lately I’ve been under enormous amounts of pressure what with deadlines at university, writing the for the student magazine, freelance work, work experience (which is amaze-balls!!!), trying to sneak some exercise whenever I can… it’s a lot. And when I come home, I just don’t want to spend loads of time cooking something wonderful–I want it at a snap of my fingers! If only that could happen… 

If like me you get home tired or don’t have a lot of time to cook, you can roast the butternut in the morning while you have your breakfast (but don’t forget to switch off the oven before you leave the house!) and then cook the rest of the recipe when you get home. Cooking the couscous and vegetables takes less than 15 minutes if you use canned chickpeas. 

Serves two as a main meal, four as a side
Preparation: 10 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins

350g butternut squash (1 medium to small squash), sliced in half mo0ns, roasted for at least 30 minutes
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp vegetable oil (canola or coconut will do fine)
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 small chilli, seeds removed
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, drained
1-2 tbsp red wine (optional but definitely worth a try)
a pinch of cayenne and cinnamon
a pinch of dried parsley, to garnish
100g couscous, dry
100ml boiling water

Pour boiling water over the couscous in a heat-proof bowl and let sit while you cook.
Heat the oil in a large pan on medium heat. Gently fry the cumin seeds and garlic for 3-5 minutes, until browned.
Add the red onion and chilli and cook till soft (5 minutes approx). The onion should start to caramelise. 
Add the cherry tomatoes, chopped tomatoes and chickpeas, and cook for five minutes. Add the roasted butternut squash and a few tbsp red wine, sprinkle over the spices, and cook for another 5 minutes until the vegetables are mellow and tender. 
The couscous will by now have absorbed all the water. Fluff it up with a fork–not a spoon, I beseech you. That’ll only make it clump together in a most unappealing way. Serve the hot vegetables over the couscous and enjoy immediately. 

I hope this helps you glide through the week with ease and peace of mind! If you’ve any tips or recipes to make weeknight dinners a breeze, share them in the comment below 🙂

The Cookie Fairy

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