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I love Moroccan food. It's so full of flavour and colour and is in no way boring. In fact, if you think about it, most Moroccan things are full of colour. Hand painted dishes, sparkly jallabiyyas (traditional clothes) and any accessories whether you're thinking of woven bags or jewellery.

There is a young lady in York who I have had the huge pleasure of working with and she is a great champion of Moroccan design. So much so that she started a business to help creative designers in Morocco get the word out abroad about their products. She visits them about twice a year to talk about styles and the market and to see what's popular both in Morocco and in Britain. From there, the designers work their magic and she puts her marketing skills to work.

Her business is called 'Morochic' and it is fabulous. Click on the name to visit the website because it's totally worth a look (and brilliant for presents). Inayah Sadiq is the founder of the brand and she's worked so hard at making it what it is today. The website has only relatively recently launched and with it, a blog of Inayah's travels with her products. So we decided, why not, for one post each, combine the two blogs.

I developed a Moroccan recipe for Inayah to use on her blog and here it is. It's my vegetable tagine with lemon and parsley rice. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Vegetable Tagine with Lemon and Parsley Rice

  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted

  • 3cmx3cm pice of ginger, grated

  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced

  • 4 cloves garlic, grated

  • 5 celery sticks, chopped into 6cm chunks

  • 1 red onion, finely diced

  • 5 carrots, peeled and chopped into thick chunks

  • 1 leek, halved and sliced

  • 2 courgettes, quartered and roughly chopped

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

  • 50g kale

  • 500ml vegetable stock

  • 50g flaked almonds

For the rice:

  • 300g basmatti rice

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • Juice of 2 lemons

  • 40g chopped parsley

  • Enough water to come up above the rice by 2cm

In a pot or a tagine, pour in a tablespoon of olive oil and sweat off the onions, garlic and ginger. Once everything is soft, add the chilli, celery and leeks. Stir them in the pot and cook until the green colour of the leeks intensifies (about 3 minutes). Then add the carrots, kale and courgettes and get them so that they're only just starting to soften.

Add all of the spices and stir everything around so that the vegetables are well coated. Let the spices cook off for a couple of minutes otherwise it will be really grainy when you serve. Add the vegetable stock, bring it to a boil and then simmer covered for 40 minutes. If you are using a tagine, keep checking the stock level isn't going down too much. You want the flavourful sauce for the meal.

Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Add it to a pot with the water, olive oil and salt and cook it on low until it's light and fluffy (about 20 minutes). Take it off the heat and keep the lid on the pot so that it stays warm.

Just before you're ready to serve, toast the flaked almonds in a pan (do not burn them!) and sprinkle them over the tagine. Then mix the lemon juice and chopped parsley into the rice. Bon appetit!


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