Smoky aubergine tagine with lemon & apricots

Smoky aubergine tagine with lemon & apricots

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(35 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 1 hr


Serves 4
A fragrant tagine is perfect for summer entertaining, lighter than stew but just as satisfying with meaty aubergines and aromatic spices

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Healthy
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal270
  • fat11g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs29g
  • sugars26g
  • fibre12g
  • protein8g
  • salt0.3g


  • 2 aubergines, cut into large chunks



    Although it's technically a fruit (a berry, to be exact), the aubergine is used as a…

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 onions, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 tbsp freshly grated ginger



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 1½ tsp ras el hanout
  • 1½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • good pinch of saffron



    The stigma of a type of crocus, saffron threads have a pungent and distinctive aroma and flavour…

  • 300ml hot vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 preserved lemons, rind of both sliced, pulp from the centre of 1 roughly chopped
  • 120g dried apricots, halved
  • 200g tomatoes, roughly chopped



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 1 tbsp clear honey
  • zest 1 lemon, juice ½



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped mint



    There are several types of mint, each with its own subtle difference in flavour and appearance.…

  • Greek yogurt, to serve (optional)
  • wholemeal bulghar wheat, to serve (optional)


  1. Brown the aubergines in 2 tbsp of the oil so they’re golden on all sides, but not soft in the middle yet – this is best done in batches in a large, non-stick frying pan.

  2. Heat a heavy-based shallow lidded pan or flameproof tagine with the remaining oil, then add the onions, ginger and spices, and fry gently until softened and golden.

  3. Meanwhile, add the saffron to the stock to soak. Stir the preserved lemon rind and pulp, apricots, tomatoes, honey and lemon juice into the onions with the saffron stock. Snugly fit the aubergines in, cover with a lid and simmer for 30 mins until the aubergines are tender. Season to taste.

  4. Mix together the lemon zest, sesame seeds and chopped herbs, and sprinkle over the tagine. Serve with Greek yogurt and wholemeal bulghar wheat, if you like.

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Comments, questions and tips

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7th Feb, 2020
Think there's perhaps too many apricots and preserved lemon, as this dish tasted how I imagine warm orange juice to be.
28th Apr, 2019
I followed the recipe pretty much to the letter and it was delicious! Two slight changes: one big tablespoon of powdered ginger as I had no fresh and instead of the 2 preserved lemons, I used a small fresh one (rind and pulp). As one other poster mentioned, the mixture of toasted sesame seeds, chopped parsley/mint and lemon zest sprinkled on the top before serving gives wonderful flavors.
8th Jan, 2019
Amazingly easy and good. Works well on own or as a side to roast lamb with bulgar wheat / couscous .
Danielle Roughan's picture
Danielle Roughan
5th May, 2018
I roasted the tomatoes in the oven for an hour to intensify flavour, along with adding in some garlic and chill to the recipe. It was delicious and will definitely make again!
7th Oct, 2017
We both love this dish and like it just as it is. Very tasty and filling and one that I have now served up several times. Makes a delicious alternative to our usual meat dinners.
10th Sep, 2017
didn't have preserved lemons or mint so i opted for lemon mint instead. I added chillis and garlic as well as a tin of tomatoes, so was a bit more than the original. i also forgot the sesame seeds. however it tasted great.
28th Jul, 2017
Delicious! Didn't have any preserved lemons or saffron but used finely chopped peel of half a lemon and worked well. Had it every night for dinner this week so far and still love it! Will be making again
17th Jul, 2017
Due to not having quite a few ingredients I heavily edited this recipe. But it tasted lovey so I thought I'd put it here for anyone in a similar situation. Spices I used : paprika, cinnamon, cardamom pods and cumin. I used 3/4 tin chopped tomatoes, 250ml stock, brocolli in addition to an aubergine and 4tsp lemon juice. I also added a bit of garlic.
5th Mar, 2017
Very tasty. I will be making this again. My meat eating partner also enjoyed it.
28th Sep, 2016
Lovely stew, have made this dish 3 times now over the past 3 wees and the whole family loves it! With to vegetarians in the family this is a great addition to my to-go-to recipes. When i have time I make the tomato sauce a couple of hours beforehand to intensify the flavours, and add the the aubergines half an hour before dinner time. I also like to add some grilled peppers. Makes it even more amazing!


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28th Sep, 2016
After making this dish a couple of times I have some tips to make this dish even better (in my opinion of course, the recipe is great as it is as well) - fry the onion until translucent before adding the ginger, then fry the ginger a couple of minutes and only then add the spices and fry until fragrant. - add a minced garlic glove when adding the ginger. - ads a small tin of tomato purée in addition to the tomatoes toe make it more intense - make the sauce a couple of hours beforehand Enjoy!
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