Smoky aubergine tagine with lemon & apricots

Smoky aubergine tagine with lemon & apricots

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(30 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
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  • 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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9th Sep, 2016
I didn't have any preserved lemons, but using a whole lemon cut into chunks with the rind removed and it worked well, served with lemon and coriander couscous. Good dish, I've made it several times now, and it's gone into the supper dish folder.
3rd Mar, 2016
I think I used unusually large preserved lemons and it was very bitter. So make sure your lemons aren't normal sized lemons. It was really good otherwise.
13th Oct, 2015
Surprisingly good! I'm afraid I remained utterly skeptical right up until sitting down to eat it The toasted sesame seeds and greek yoghurt made it for me, don't scrimp on those.
20th Sep, 2015
This was delicious and the flavours were well balanced. It went down well with all the family, even those usually against vegetarian meals. Having two pans on the go at once, one doing aubergine, the other onions, sped up the cooking bringing the overall prep + cooking time to an hour- it is well worth the time- I will definitely be making this again.
4th Sep, 2015
I've just made this for my parents for lunch. Added diced chicken thigh and it was delicious. I didn't use mint as I don't like it
16th Aug, 2015
Tasty hearty dish. Didn't have any saffron but it still tasted lovely.


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