It’s quince time in Morocco! Everywhere in the local markets, you can buy those delicious fruits now. A quince is a fruit related to pears and apples which looks like a slightly dented yellow-greenish apple. It can not be eaten raw as it is very hard and sour in taste. But as you boil a quince, it will reveal its aromatic sweet and fruity flavor. The traditional quince dish in Morocco is „tajine lham b sfarjel“ which simply means tajine with meat and quinces. In my version, I´m using potatoes and cabbage to “veggietize” this classic. The combination of spices and vegetables makes the dish hearty and yet light at the same time. This recipe is literally a culinary transition from late summer to autumn and totally vegan!
for the tajine:
- 1 large size onion (about 250g)
- ½ small cabbage or ¼ of a larger cabbage
- 4-5 medium-size potatoes
- 2 tablespoons and 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ teaspo turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon ginger powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper (optional)
- 2 tablespoons parsley and fresh coriander
- 300ml of water
- 1/2 cup of boiled chickpeas (optional)
for the quinces:
- 2 quinces
- 60g sugar
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon orange blossom water (optional)
- 600 ml of water
- Start with preparing the ingredients:
At, first, peel and wash the potatoes and halve them.
Next, peel the onion, wash it, and slice it thinly.
Now, wash the piece of cabbage and cut it into halves. Also wash the quinces. If they have a hairy fluffy layer on top, remove it while you wash them. Quarter the quinces and cut out the seeds by using a strong knife. Be careful, the quinces are hard to cut!
Finally, chop parsley and coriander finely.
- Afterward prepare the marinade. Therefore, put the spices for the tajine in a bowl, then add the herbs, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and water. Mix it well.
- It’s time to cook the tajine! Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a tajine pot. Then, add the onions and stirfry them until translucent.
- Put the cabbage pieces into the center of the tajine and pour ½ of the marinade over the cabbage. Cover the tajine with a lid and cook it for about 20 minutes. Add water if required.
- Next, arrange the potato pieces around the cabbage and optionally sprinkle some boiled chickpeas over the potatoes and the cabbage. Put the remaining sauce over the vegetables. Cover it with a lid and cook for another 30 minutes. Add water if required.
- Now, cook the quinces. Therefore, put the quinces into a pot. Add water, the cinnamon stick, sugar, and orange blossom water (optional). Boil everything without a lid until all the liquid has evaporated and the sugar has transformed into a honey-like sauce. Then, carefully caramelize the quinces in the honey-like sugar until slightly golden caramelized. Caution: it’s only a blink of an eye between caramelizing and burning the quinces!!!
- When the vegetables are nicely cooked and soft, turn off the heat. Make sure that you have some sauce left in the pot. If not, add some water before turning off the heat. Put the quinces on top of the tajine.
Enjoy your tajine with warm and fresh bread! Try also my vegan Swiss chard tajine!