Saffron scented squash tagine

Perfumed with saffron and ras el hanout, a pungent blend of different spices, this wonderful autumnal tagine is packed with flavour. A fiery chermoula helps make the sauce pop. This wicked Moroccan paste is so easy to make and really benefits from being made the day before so that the flavours have more time to develop.


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees fan. Chuck the squash into mixing bowl and add half the olive oil and a good pinch of salt. Toss together and tip onto a roasting tray. Roast for 35-40 minutes or until a little golden and still with some bite.
  2. Heat the remaining oil in a large casserole over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes until a little golden. Add the garlic and cook for 10 seconds until fragrant.
  3. Put the tomatoes into the pan with the onion. Add a good pinch of salt and mix well. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes start to break down. Add the tomato puree, honey, cumin, ras el hanout, paprika, saffron and stock. Mix well and bring to the boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-25 minutes and lovely and rich.
  4. Tip the squash into the sauce and gently mix together. Increase the heat to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes with the lid off so that the sauce can reduce and the flavours marry together.
  5. Meanwhile, to make the chermoula chuck all the ingredients into a food processor with a good pinch of salt. Blend until smooth. You might need to wipe the sides down as you go. Transfer to a serving bowl.
  6. Scatter the remaining coriander over the tagine and serve with the couscous and chermoula.


Serves 4

For the tagine
800g peeled and deseeded squash cut into 2 inch pieces
4 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp runny honey
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ras el hanout
½ tsp paprika
A pinch of saffron
300ml vegetable stock
Couscous to serve
Sea salt

For the chermoula
A brunch of coriander leaves and stalks. Plus extra for garnish
A handful of parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 red chilli
1 preserved lemon
The juice of a lemon
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt

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