Tag Archives: pomegranate

Tagine of spicy meatballs and pomegranate

This is another warming winter Tagine and this time it is beef and little else but also very quick and easy when you have ran out of ideas and you need a hot meal in 30 minutes! Some dishes carry a little dream after them and this one will transport you in whichever exotic oasis you choose to visit…

The pyramid shape is magic  for flavours

The pyramid shape is magic for flavours

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Ingredients list: for 20 meatballs

  • Ground beef, 500g
  • Tin of chopped tomatoes – or 2 fresh ones in season!
  • Passata, 200ml
  • Half a jar of chickpeas
  • Seasoning: harissa, thyme, sage and hot paprika to taste
  • More seasoning: M’rouzia or Ras El Hanout, 1 Tbsp
  • Light olive oil, 1 Tbsp
  • Salt and pepper to finish
  • Chopped fresh parsley, one handful
  • Pomegranate seeds, a small handful

First mix the ground beef and the seasoning (harissa, thyme and sage or other flavours) and roll small ping-pong ball sized chunks into oiled hands.

Chop the onions, diced up, and fry them in a little oil (1 Tbsp). Do not let the olive oil smoke, keep the heat under control.

Fry the meat balls in the oil for a few seconds.

Add the chopped tomatoes, M’rouzia or other Tagine spices, some hot paprika and the passata with a little water if needed.

Add the rinsed chickpeas – and frozen peas as well if you wish!

Only add salt towards the end as the stew will reduce and only very little salt will be needed, if any.

Cover and put on low heat for 30 minutes. If you can, use a pointy Tagine dish as the condensation of flavours is unmatchable by any other method.

Present with a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds and parsley. I love rich colour in food – it enhances the appetite.

Serve with steamed rice and vegetable or some couscous. Or just big slabs of flat bread to mop up the sauce…

A nomad's tent near Marrakech

A nomad’s tent near Marrakech

This tent is my dream place, and represents the best place ever to taste the sort of Tagines that I am raving about… This photo was taken at dusk, just before dinner was served. You are in an oasis, in the middle of the desert… I can just imagine I am back there as if lifted by a magic carpet and everything suddenly tastes so much better…

 

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Tagine of chicken with pomegranate and prunes

For this I advise you to use a proper pointy tagine dish but a heavy pan with lid will do if you can not have the real thing. The pointy shape of the dish does concentrate flavours wonderfully and makes a great centrepiece on the dinner table. Do not forget to soak the unglazed underside of the tagine prior to using it to avoid cracking in the feat. I use a heat diffuseur as well over the hob.

A moroccan tagine

A moroccan tagine

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Ingredients list:

  • Onion,1
  • M’rouzia (or Ras El Hanout), 1 tbsp
  • Chicken stock, 1 large glass
  • Passata, 100m
  • salt
  • Olive oil
  • Pomegranate syrup, 2 Tbsp
  • Diced chicken, 1 with bones and skin
  • Celery heart,1 diced
  • Carrots, 3 or 4
  • Prunes, one handful
  • Roasted almonds, one handful
  • Parsley and coriander to serve.

Fry the chicken in a pan with a little olive oil and turn each morsel a few times for about 15 minutes. Toss the M’rouzia mix over and roll the chicken in the spices until coated, add some salt, then reserve.

Lay the sliced onion at the bottom of the dish, place the chicken bits over. Cut up the celery heart and the carrots lengthwise and pile on.

Drain the chicken juice from the frying pan into a jug, add the passata, some more spice mix (M’rouzia is a current favourite but Ras el Hanout is good too). Then blend in some pomegranate syrup or grape molasses – in sale from any good middle-eastern grocer.  You should have about 250ml of liquid. Add a bit of water if you need too, then pour it all over the meat and vegetables.

Cover and cook on low heat for 45 min to 1 hour. Add the prunes at the end and give a little more heat for 5 minutes. Check the liquid level: the juice must be thick and reduced but still there to give moisture to the dish.

To serve, sprinkle with chopped parsley and coriander, a small amount of roasted almonds and 3 tbsp of fresh pomegranate seeds. The mixed fruity and nutty flavours are great against the saltiness of the meat!

You can serve it on it own or with steamed bulgur wheat. I love bulgur and it loves me back: it is impossible to fail and I really like its rough nuttiness better sometime than a silky couscous.

Daikon, cucumber and pomegranate side salad

I have recently discovered the japanese Daikon radish – also called Mooli by some-  and I love adding it to side salads or eating it alongside smoked fish. Its acidity is unrivalled to help digest salmon or mackerel and it would go brilliantly with red meat too. Paired with seasonnal pomegranate and a refreshing cucumber it is the most perfect palate cleansing side dish. Don’t you love those colours, too?! Beautiful food is more satisfying…

red and green, bejewelled salad

Ingredients list:

  • 1/1 daikon radish
  • 1/2 seeded pomegranate
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • Dash of pomegranate syrup or molasse
  • Balsamic vinegar 1 Tbsp
  • A splash of olive oil
Peel the daikon and wash the cucumber without peeling.
Cut up both like a thin “julienne” or grate with the large grater side of your mandoline.
De-seed the pomegranate and mix all the vegetables in with your fingers.
For seasoning, I used a delicious pomegranate syrup I buy from a turkish delicatessen  and it is worth looking for it if you can but otherwise, olive oil and balsamic vinegar are perfect on their own. These quantities serve 5 or 6 and you can make the same salad the next day with the other halves!

Nutrition notes:

Daikon is a wonder vegetable and it will help break down the fat in anything you eat . It is a very “healing” food according to the Macrobiotic way and it also aids relaxation and acts as a diuretic. It is very useful as a weight loss support.

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