Thursday, May 27, 2010

Root Vegetable (Pumpkin) Marak

Pumpkins are still in season, and a whole heap of other root and winter vegetables. This recipe is an adaptation of Tess Malos' "Marka dar Marhzin" (Moroccon Pumpkin Stew - similar to Tagine) with a few variations. What I love about this recipe is that it has a certain summer quality about it - the colour and flavours - but is made with winter vegetables. I would also like to suggest to my Alice Springs followers that Siri Omberg's locally made Harissa really lifts this dish. (Available at Afghan Traders.)

Olive oil
2 onions finely chopped
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 teaspoon each tumeric, ginger and cinnamon
A selection of root and winter vegetables could include: carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, parsnip, cabbage. About a cup of each, diced.
2-3 cups water
1 teaspoon Harissa (see above)
1 tablespoon sultanas
1 dessertspoon honey
1/4 cup pine nuts (toasted)
Fresh coriander for garnish

1. Heat olive oil in large heavy saucepan, preferably cast iron enamel.
2. Add onions and garlic and sautee over a low heat until well cooked and soft (but not brown).
3. Add spices and cook for around 2 more minutes.
4. Add carrots and cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer for around 10 minutes.
5. Add other vegetables, sultanas, honey and salt and pepper to taste.
6. Cover and simmer for another 20 minutes until vegetables are cooked to your taste.
7. Add harissa.

with couscous, lime wedges. Would look good on a large plate on top of couscous, but I prefer to leave the ratio of couscous to Marak to the diner.
(For a more substantial meal, you can always add chick peas.)