grub, green issues and gays

Moroccan Tagine with Halloumi

Moroccan Tagine with Halloumi

Halloumi? Hallou you!

Sorry.

One of the things I love most about switching to a veggie diet is the sheer amount of halloumi I’ve eaten. The salty Greek delight seems to be present on almost every veggie menu – in sandwiches, fried on skewers… love it.

When I had the urge to make a Moroccan-inspired stew, I naturally thought: “How can I incorporate cheese into this?” and naturally, halloumi was the answer. Technically, I think you have to cook a tagine in one of the proper clay pots, but this was done in my big wok with a lid, which is almost as good, I guess?

Ingredients:

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2 onions
1 pepper
1 aubergine
1 tin chick peas
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Green olives ( a handful, jarred or fresh is fine)
Tomato paste
Dried apricots (a handful, or more if you really like them)
Almonds (as many or as few as you like)
Harissa paste
Pitta breads (I used wholemeal, but white is fine too)
Halloumi (half a block)
Tablespoon flour
Salt + pepper

The method for this tagine is really simple! Use a large wok or pan with a lid, and start by chopping your onions up nice and small, and frying them off gently in some oil. Add the chopped pepper and fry together for about 5 minutes. While this is cooking, chop up your aubergine into large pieces and then add to the pan. After a further 5 minutes, drain the chickpeas and add them to the mix, along with the whole tin of chopped tomatoes.

Turn the heat down to medium/low, and then add a big teaspoon of harissa paste. Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper to taste, and a big tablespoon of tomato paste. Stir well to mix everything together, and then use a pair of kitchen scissors to snip a handful of dried apricots into little pieces, and add these too. This needs to cook on low for a further 20-30 minutes.

Now the heat is down low, put the lid on and let this simmer while you do your halloumi. Chop the block into wedges, I usually allow 3/4 wedges per person. Put the flour in a bowl, and drop the slides into the flour to coat them evenly. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a frying pan. When the oil is nice and hot, gently put the halloumi slices in the pan and fry them. Each side shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes – use some tongs to check if they’ve turned a lovely golden brown.

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When your halloumi is done, take it out of the oil and dry it off on some kitchen paper. I used these last few minutes to make up some packet couscous, because it’s cheap and tasty, just like me. You can make your own with herbs and stock and such, but maybe that’s a recipe for another day.

Serve everything together in a big hearty bowl, with a pitta on the side – lush! There was plenty of tagine left for lunch the next day too – I’d say this recipe is enough for 4 big portions. Enjoy, and if you try it, let me know what you think in the comments!

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