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Aubergine and courgette tagine with apricots and dates

Ghillie Basan / 23 August 2019

A gently spiced vegetarian tagine of aubergines and courgettes in a sweet, rich sauce.

Courgette and aubergine tagine with dates apricot
Courgette and aubergine tagine with dates apricot. Photography © Ryland Peters & Small

Cooking time

50 minutes




  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 20g (1oz) butter
  • 1 onion, halved lengthways and sliced into half moons
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 aubergines, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 courgettes, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 red pepper, halved, deseeded and sliced
  • 150g (5oz) ready-to-eat stoned dried dates, halved lengthways
  • 150g (5oz) ready-to-eat dried apricots, halved
  • 2-3 tsp ras el hanout
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
  • Small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Small bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


This delicious tagine is like a Moroccan ratatouille with the additional burst of sweet and spicy flavours from the dried fruits and the ras el hanout. It is a lovely dish to serve on its own with chunks of fresh crusty bread and a dollop of yogurt, but you can also serve it with couscous.

Heat the oil with the butter in the base of a tagine or in a heavy-based saucepan, stir in the onion and garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes to soften.

Toss in the aubergines and courgettes and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, then add the pepper, dates, apricots, ras el hanout and sugar.

Stir in the tomatoes with half the herbs and bring to the boil.

Cover with the lid and cook over a medium heat for 30-40 minutes.

Season the tagine with salt and pepper, garnish with the remaining herbs and serve.

What is ras el hanout?

Moroccan cuisine is well-known for its rich, warm spices, some of which are combined into ras el hanout, a blend of spices with up to 60 ingredients. In its native land, every grocer mixes differently, but commercial blends are widely available in UK supermarkets.

The Modern Tagine Cookbook by Ghillie Başan, published by Ryland Peters & Small (£9.99)

Visit our Middle Eastern recipe section for more delicious Arabic recipes

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