Tagine – its not what you think

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When I first read the they make a lot of Tagines in Tunisia, I imagined the typical, tomato based stew made in the dish with the funny lid. Turns out a Tunisian Tagine is more like an omlette or gallette – a mix of vegetables and spices with eggs, baked in a shallow pie dish.

It seems like folly to attempt to veganise a dish held together only by eggs, but when I saw this picture of a Maacouda Bil Batata, a potato and olive Tagine, I just couldn’t help myself.

After considering my options, I decided to go with my stand-by egg-replacer, silken tofu, with some added Orgran No-Egg. Otherwise I followed the recipe from Desert Candy, using mashed potatoes, onions, olives, Harissa and herbs.

I put the mixture into the pie dish (I don’t own an oven happy skillet that actually fits in my oven) and prayed to the vegan omlette gods.

Meanwhile, I whipped up a Tunisian eggplant salad, minus the Tuna (which appears to be in EVERYTHING), by frying some eggplant, tomato, and onion, in lemon juice and olive oil and throwing in some mint and coriander from the garden. It was delicious. It was so well cooked that I’m not sure I’d call it a salad, but it was the perfect accompaniment to the Maacouda, which I’d just taken out of the oven.

Tunisian Eggplant salad

Taking it out of the oven, I was bouyed with hope. It looked beautiful, golden brown and solid looking, just like the picture. Could it have worked?Could my vegan omlette dreams have come true?

Tunisian Potato Tagine just out of the oven

Unfortunately, no. It was… I think “mushy” is probably the best word for it. It fell to pieces and mushed around the pie plate as I tried to lift out a piece. It slopped onto the plate. It just about oozed into a heap beside the salad.

Yet another appetising dinner coming to you from roundtheworldvegan

This said, it really was delicious, and it did had satisfyingly-crunchy edges, and the texture of the middle wasn’t far from mashed potato, which isn’t too bad. At least it wasn’t as disastrous as the Creole Eggplant Casserole from America Week.

It was tasty enough to try again, and Mr thought it was fabulous as it was (he goes for flavour, not texture, or looks).It didn’t work out, but it came close enough to have me dreaming up ways to improve it.

So, has anyone reading had a vegan omlette success you could tell us about? I’d love o know.

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