When the nights are long and dark, it’s a great time to cook up something aromatic, warming, and just a little exotic. Tagine is a North African Arabian dish, which is named after the earthenware pot in which it is cooked. “This delicious vegan tagine, with its tasty combination of vegetables, briny olives, and bright, fresh lemon, makes a quick and easy dish that tastes far more complex than the sum of its parts,” says its creator, Chef Sara Boan. It’s sure to brighten up the dreariest winter day!

Compassionate Cuisine Recipe by Chef Sara Boan of the Catskill Animal Sanctuary. Reposted with permission.

Makes 6-8 servings



For the spice blend:

1½ teaspoons ground cumin

1½ teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon turmeric

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon hot paprika

½ teaspoon sweet paprika

Generous pinch of saffron threads


For the stew:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 red onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

3 medium carrots, cut into ½-inch chunks

1 small or ½ large head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets

1 medium eggplant, cut into ½-inch chunks (no need to peel)

4 cups vegetable broth

1½ teaspoons salt, plus more to taste

One 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (1½ cups cooked)

½ cup sliced green olives

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

¼ cup chopped mint, for serving



  1. To make the spice mix, stir together all the spices in a small bowl and set aside until needed.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium high heat. When hot, add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook until softened and just beginning to brown, around 7-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute or so, until fragrant. Sir in the spice mix and tomato paste, then add the carrots, cauliflower, and eggplant, and stir well. Pour in the vegetable broth and sprinkle in the salt. Bring the stew to a boil, reduce the heat, and cover. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are nearly tender.
  3. Stir in the chickpeas, olives, and lemon zest and juice, and allow to simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the vegetables are fork-tender. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve alone or over the grain of your choice, such as couscous, and sprinkle each serving with fresh mint. The tagine will keep in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Cooled portions freeze beautifully, and are best enjoyed within 3 months.