We do our grocery shopping at a Lebanese grocery store and whenever there are fresh broad beans, there is always a huge crowd of people buying them by the (rather large) bag-full. So I followed the movement and bought some too (I’m such a sheep). The thing is, I had no idea what to do with them… so I came up with this tajine recipe and it turned out great.
The secret when cooking a tajine is to not be in a rush. Let it cook on low heat for a while and don’t turn the heat up, even though the amazing smell that will fill your house will make you want to speed up the process to devourer it faster. It is worth the wait.
- 1 tblsp of olive oil
- 1 big or 2 small onions
- 2 tomatoes diced
- 2 carrots cut in fingers
- 2 potatoes cut in wedges
- about a 1/3 of a butternut squash cut in wedges
- 10 to 12 fresh broad beans, cut open to use only the inside beans
- 2 pinches of saffron
- 1and1/2 tsp of ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp of ground dry ginger
- 1 tsp of ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp of paprika
- 1 pinch of ground cloves
- 1/4 cup of fresh coriander (cilantro)
- 3 branches of fresh thyme
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup of vegetable broth
- some fresh parsley or coriander for garnish
Put the bottom plate of the tajine on low heat and add the oil. Cook the onions in the oil, stirring now and then until they are soft but not brown. Add the tomatoes to the onions and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes. While the onions and tomatoes are cooking, add all the spices to the broth and stir.
When the onions and tomatoes are both soft, place the vegetables in a circle creating a kind of a tipi shape (or tajine shape!). Add the broad beans, fresh coriander and thyme on top of your vegetable sculpture and poor the broth over everything. Cover and cook until the vegetables and beans are well tender, which can take anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes. Every 10 minutes, using a baster, pour some of the broth at the bottom of the tajine onto the vegetables. If the tajine overflows (happens to me a lot!), remove some broth and if the bottom gets dry (has never happened to me yet), add more broth.