Tagine de la mer – Tagine aux seiches, fèves et poireaux

This was a dish I made while I was in France…since my dad was in the hospital, my mom and I just cooked simple meals because by 1pm we needed to be at the hospital. Tagines are wonderful if you don’t have to much time to eat but still want to enjoy a healthy and flavorful meal. Clay pot cooking is one of my favorites, and as soon as you try it, you will have a difficult time going back to a regular-pan cooking. It preserves all the aromas of each ingredient and infuses all the flavors together.

Like in papillotes, you can cook anything you like in tagines, just be creative, with a little audacity, and you’ll get a fabulous dish. A couple of years ago, it was not as easy to find a tagine claypot, but nowadays, most stores carry them (at least in California);  tagines are becoming more trendy, simply because it has traveled outside borders and everyone has discovered their health benefits, and still keeping amazing aromas.

I have seen many types of couscous in France (in France we call the actual grain semoule, couscous being the Algerian dish, made with vegetables, meat and semoule) different kinds of whole grains, such as kamut, quinoa, spelt, etc…since my mom had diabetes, I tried to make dishes that were good for her, or at least that did not aggravate her diabetes. This quinoa couscous is a perfect grain to go with any tagine. Of course people who don’t like squid can use other ingredients such as shrimps, or white fish. I kept the couscous simple with no major strong flavors, to really enjoy the tagine broth, couscous being a minor addition in this meal, necessary but secondary.

Ingredients for 3

  • 1 lb squid
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 1/2 leeks, cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 lb fava bean, peeled
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp ras-el-hanout
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • salt and pepper

For the quinoa couscous

  • 140 g quinoa semolina
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • vegetable broth
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt
  • cracked pepper


For the tagine

Heat olive oil in tagine and brown the onions. Add leeks and cook for about 5 minutes. Add squid, and all other ingredients except for the fava beans. Mix all ingredients well. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and cook fava beans for three minutes. Remove from heat, drain and peel fava beans. 10 minutes before end of cooking time, add fava beans to the tagine, cover and let it cook for another 10 minutes. Sprinkle with fennel leaves or mint and serve with couscous.

For the quinoa couscous

Proceed like for a regular wheat couscous. Bring vegetable broth to a boil. Coat couscous with olive oil using your fingers. Add broth to the couscous, cover and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Using a fork, separate the grains, add lemon juice and cracked pepper. Adjust with salt if necessary. For broth quantity, I cover the couscous with 5mm of extra broth above couscous.