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Tagine of Fennel Red Onions and Baby Carrots with Couscous

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Serves: 4

3 baby fennel bulbs
6 small red onions, about 80g / 2 3/4 oz each
8 baby carrots
375ml / 13fl oz chicken stock
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 scant teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
5 garlic cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons raisins
1 small handful mint

For the Saffron couscous
small pinch saffron threads
625ml / 22 fl oz chicken stock or water
375g / 13 oz instant couscous
1 tablespoon olive oil


Trim the tops off the fennel. leaving 2-3cm / 3/4-1 1/4in of stalks remaining, and discard the tough outer leaves. Halve the fennel lengthways. Peel the onions, leaving the ends intact. Trim the carrots, leaving 1-2cm / 1/2-3/4in of stalks remaining. Scrub the carrots. Place vegetables in a microwave-safe dish with a little water, cover and cook on high for 4-5 minutes.

Put the stock in a flame proof casserole dish and add the fennel, onions, carrots, ground ginger, cumin, cinnamon, honey, garlic and cinnamon stick. Bring to the boil, then add the currants. Cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Toss the mint leaves through the tagine.

Meanwhile, to make the saffron couscous, soak the saffron in 2 tablespoons hot water for 10 minutes. Bring the stock to the boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the couscous and saffron with its soaking liquid. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside for 5 minutes. Add the olive oil and toss with a fork to loosen the grains. Serve with the vegetables.

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