Easy to cook, good to taste, Chef Prasad Metrani, Chef de Cuisine, Westin, Pune, on the making of Vegetable Tagine.

Tagines are flavorful Moroccan stews loaded with cooked vegetables and signature spices like cumin, coriander and ginger. Serve over couscous for a true Moroccan meal.
                         2 Tbs. olive oil
·                                 4 shallots, chopped
·                                 2 cloves garlic, minced
·                                 1 1-inch piece peeled fresh gingerroot, minced
·                                 1 stalk celery, chopped
·                                 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
·                                 1 ½ tsp. ground coriander
·                                 1 ½ tsp. ground cumin
·                                 1 ½ tsp. paprika
·                                 1 tsp. salt
·                                 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
·                                 ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper or to taste
·                                 1 32-oz. can crushed or diced tomatoes
·                                 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into chunks (1 cup)
·                                 ⅓ lb. green beans, ends trimmed (2 cups)
·                                 1 small butternut squash or sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks (3 ½ cups)
·                                 ½ head cauliflower, cut into florets (3 cups)
·                                 ½ fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into chunks (2 cups)
·                                 Vegetable broth or water
·                                 ¼ tsp. crushed saffron
·                                 1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas (rinsed if canned)
·                                 ½ cup pitted kalamata olives
·                                 ½ cup halved pitted prunes
·                                 3 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
  •  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, ginger, celery and cinnamon stick and cook, stirring often, until shallots and celery begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add coriander, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper and cayenne. Cook, stirring constantly, until spices are fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, carrot, green beans, squash or sweet potato, cauliflower and fennel. Add enough vegetable stock or water to cover vegetables. Stir in saffron. 
  •  Cover and bake until vegetables are tender, 40 to 45 minutes. About 5 minutes before stew is done, stir in chickpeas, olives and prunes. Stir in parsley just before serving.
Get to know the Chef
Armed with a Bachelor’s in Hospitality and Hotel Administration from Institute of Hotel Management, Hyderabad,Chef Metrani oversees kitchen operations for Coffee Shop, Restro Lounge Mix@ 36 and In Room Dining or Westin, Pune. He has worked with Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces, Leela Hotels Resorts & Palaces, Seabourn Cruise liners. 
He loves listening to music, travelling, reading, cooking, philately and numismatics, barbeques.