Tag Archives: coriander

Moroccan Beef Tagine


I feel like we are in the calm lull between back to school craziness and the madness of the holiday season. The cooler weather has been inspiring my cooking and has me wanting to spend more time in the kitchen putting together satisfying and comforting dishes. And because some of the best dishes are those that take time to make, this is the season to make them.  While the dishes take time to prepare much of the time is spent on the cooking rather than the preparations. And as these dishes cook their aroma fills the house with wonderful scents that give you a hint of the meal that is to come.

I’ve adapted this dish from a Jamie Oliver recipe and like so many of his recipes, it doesn’t disappoint. It is rich, flavorful and thoroughly satisfying. If you don’t have a tagine, or have one but also have a very small European sized oven that can’t accommodate a tagine, make this dish is a heavy, ovenproof Dutch oven. The slow cooked results will be the same. And if you want to make a fancy presentation like I do for company, I transfer the cooked stew into my tangine and serve it at the table.


For the spice rub:


1 tablespoon sea salt

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper


1 tablespoon ras el hanout spice mix


1 tablespoon ground cumin


1 tablespoon ground cinnamon


1 tablespoon ground ginger


1 tablespoon sweet paprika

For the tagine:

1 pound stew beer

  • To make the spice mix, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Place the beef into a large bowl, sprinkle with the spice mix and use your hands to massage it into the meat.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
  • When you’re ready to cook, heat the olive oil in a tagine or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the meat and cook, tossing to ensure it is seared on all sides for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the onion and coriander stalks to the pan and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Add the chickpeas, tomatoes and stock to the pot.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, cover the pot, reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Add the squash, prunes and additional stock if the mixture looks too dry. Cover the pot and continue to cook for an additional 1 1/2 hours until the meat is fork tender.

Adjust the seasonings and serve alongside couscous and topped with the slivered almonds.

Serves 4

Crispy & Spicy Chickpeas

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I love chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans.  They add bulk to a soup or stew, make a great base for a chilled salad, and of course are perfect when pureed into a hummus dip.  But perhaps my favorite way to eat them is cooked up and by the handful as a snack.  Most recipes call for frying the chickpeas until crunchy but I prefer to bake mine.  It uses less oil so it is both healthier and the clean up is easier (after all, I want to eat them not clean up my kitchen mess).  For this recipe I’ve simply tossed them with cumin and coriander but you can switch up the flavors in other ways too.  A simple salt and pepper seasoning is tasty but you could also try a chili and garlic powder mixture.  They are sure to be yummy and since they are sure to disappear quickly, why not make a double batch.


2- 15 ounce cans organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  • Place the oil on a large rimmed baking sheet, tilting the pan to distribute the oil over the entire surface.
  • Spread the chickpeas on the pan in an even layer.
  • Combine the salt, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.
  • Evenly distribute the spice mixture over the top of the chickpeas.
  • Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 40 minutes, stirring the chickpeas every 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before serving.

Yields 8 servings

Spiced Goat & Rice Pilaf (Sindhi Biryani)

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From an American perspective goat meat might not be the first protein you might think when it comes to picking a meal to put on the dinner table but in some parts of the world, it is a dietary staple.  While not as plentiful as lamb, in Albania goat is often an item found on the menus of the better traditional restaurants.  I had never tried the meat prior to coming here but once I did, I was a fan.  When cooked correctly it is tender and meaty tasting but less gamey than lamb.  I quickly decided I wanted to cook it at home but was just waiting for the right inspiration.

And I found that inspiration close to a year ago when Saveur magazine published an article on Pakistani cuisine that featured this goat pilaf.  I was immediately enamored and knew I wanted to try the dish.  But a problem arose.  While the recipe said you could use beef as an alternative meat, I really wanted to make it authentic and use goat.  Finally after a lot of asking around last month I found a butcher that could procure some fresh goat meat so I thought I was good to go.  But then I couldn’t find cilantro, and with the recipe calling for two cups of the spicy leaves, it was a key ingredient in the spice paste that forms the base of the dish.  Then I heard that the local Carrefour was now carrying the herb.  I managed to buy what little they had in stock and supplemented parsley for the rest (grocery items are always hit or miss in Albania. I’ve learned that if I see something I want I need to buy it immediately because they might not carry it again) so now I was truly set.

This is definitely not a weeknight dinner.  There are just too many steps and an extended cooking time to make the dish a practical option for an after work dinner. Plus the ingredient list, including all of the spices, is lengthy.  Having a well stocked pantry that I am trying to cook down before we move, I actually had all of the spices already on hand!  However, if you are looking for a weekend dinner that is flavorful and satisfying, give this dish a try.  Use beef if you can’t find goat; mix in parsley if you don’t have enough cilantro.  The results will be well worth your efforts.  (And this dish just might inspire me to start growing my own cilantro).


2 cups cilantro, coarsely chopped (or a combination of cilantro and flat leaf parsley)

1 cup mint leaves

10 garlic cloves

10 small green chiles, stemmed

1″ piece ginger, peeled and sliced

1 1/2 cups canola oil

5 medium onions, thinly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

3 pounds goat shoulder or beef chuck, cut into 2″ cubes

3 tablespoons ground coriander

40 whole black peppercorns

16 whole cloves

12 whole black cardamom pods

10 whole bay leaves

2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half

2 cups plain yogurt

6 dried apricots, quartered

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 1/2 cups basmati rice, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes then drained

10 drops orange food coloring

  • Puree the cilantro, parsley, mint, garlic, chiles, ginger, and 1/4 cup of water in a food processor.  Set the paste aside.
  • Heat 1/2 cup of the oil in a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat.  Add 2 of the sliced onions, and cook, stirring frequently, until caramelized, about 15 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onions to a paper towel to drain.
  • Heat the remaining oil in the Dutch oven.  Add the remaining onions and cook until golden brown, 20-25 minutes.
  • Season the goat with salt and pepper and add it to the pan with the onions.  Cook until browned, approximately 10 minutes.
  • Add the reserved paste, the ground coriander, and half each of the peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, bay  leaves, and cinnamon.  Cook, stirring, until the paste is caramelized, approximately 6 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the yogurt.  Continue to cook until the meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Add the apricots and cook until they are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
  • Place the remaining peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, bay leaves, and cinnamon in a 4-quart sauce pan and heat over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the rice, salt, pepper and 4 cups of water to the pot and bring it to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and cook until the rice is al dente, about 7 minutes.  Drain the rice and set it aside.
  • Mix the food coloring with 1/2 cup of water.
  • Transfer half of the goat mixture to a bowl.  Spoon half of the rice mixture over the goat remaining in the pot.
  • Drizzle half of the colored water over the rice then top with half of the reserved onions.
  • Top with the remaining goat mixture, rice, food coloring and onions.
  • Cover the pot and cook over low heat until the rice is tender, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Mix the rice and meat together then serve.

Serves 6-8

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