This recipe is featured in the Birmingham Cook Book. The Spice Kitchen’s Butternut squash, sweet potato and chickpea tagine is both filling and guaranteed to warm you up on a chilly October evening! The sweet and spicy flavours are perfectly seasonal and remind me of a cosy autumn evening in.

Spice Kitchen – Butternut Squash Tagine

2 tablespoons rapeseed or vegetable oil
2 onions, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
5-cm piece of ginger, grated or finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp Spice Kitchen ras el hanout
400g/1 tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
2 sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
Handful of chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
Handful of chopped coriander leaves, stalks removed and chopped separately
Handful of chopped mint
100g chopped dried apricots
1.5 litres vegetable stock
2 tbsp lemon juice
500g couscous
Pomegranate seeds, to garnish

Heat the oil in a large casserole or tagine with a lid over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 6-8 minutes.

Add the garlic, ginger and tomato purée; cook for a minute or two until fragrant. Add the ras el hanout and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the chickpeas, squash, sweet potatoes, chopped parsley, coriander, mint and dried apricots and mix well to coat. Pour in 1 litre of the stock and the lemon juice and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook partially covered over low heat for about 45 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, put the remaining 500 ml of stock into a pan and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and add in the couscous. Cover with foil or a tea towel and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. The couscous will absorb all the liquid and cook in its own steam. Once rested, add a knob of butter and fluff gently with a fork. You can at this stage add more flavour to your couscous – spices, chopped vine tomatoes, olives, mint, coriander etc.

To serve, put the couscous into bowls and spoon the vegetable tagine on top. Garnish with additional chopped parsley and coriander, plus some pomegranate seeds.