This slow cooker lamb tagine is the perfect family friendly comfort food. You don’t need a tagine, or a taste for hot and spicy food, to enjoy this Moroccan inspired dish. Leave it to cook in the slow cooker all day and the spices soak into the melting-tender meat and vegetables, the cheap-as-chips chickpeas are tender and the apricots dissolve into the sauce. This isn’t a genuine North African recipe – but a modern British recipe created to bring some bold flavours to an easy every day meal.
It’s that sweetness that I think makes this dish good for children. We’re trying to stretch our groceries budget further at the moment, but my son doesn’t like pulses. He’ll tolerate lentils and heats hummus with a spoon, but chickpeas are pushing it. This meal stretches the meat out a bit but means he doesn’t have to eat more than one chickpea. Does your family agree about pulses? I’d love to see your stories in the comments!
Slow Cooker Lamb Tagine for All the Family
The spices in this slow cooker lamb tagine are warming and aromatic but mild, making it perfect for all the family. If you like your food spicy double the aromatic spices and add as much chilli as you can take. The apricots do soften the spice a little. If you can’t agree as a family just make it as per the recipe and serve crushed chillies on the side.
If your family have different favourite vegetables or you have something different in the cupboard feel free to use it instead of carrots and parsnips, just make sure the chunks are nice and small.
Slow Cooking Chickpeas
The slow cooker is the perfect way to make the most of inexpensive dried pulses. Just soak them overnight and stick ’em in. to try and avoid hard chickpeas i cook them for at least 8 hours on low or 6 hours on medium, and ensure the cooking liquid is hot. If you miss your start time boost it on high or medium for an hour. I’m lucky enough to have a slow cooker that can go on the hob – I’ve provided alternative instructions in case yours doesn’t. Starting the liquid off hot really makes a difference to the softness of those chickpeas.
If you like to make the most of slow cooking check out my easy guide to slow cooking for more ideas
This easy slow cooker recipe is the perfect comfort food - a taste of exotic North African flavours for the whole family.
- 250 g dried chickpeas 9 oz
- 4 carrots
- 2 parsnips
- 1 onion
- 70 g chopped dried apricots 2.5 oz
- 400 g diced lamb
- 2 tins chopped tomatoes 14 oz/400g cans
- 3 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 2 pinches ground cayenne pepper or ground chilli
Soak the chickpeas in cold water overnight.
Peel and chop the carrots and parsnips. Chop them into half slices or quarter slices depending on size. Peel and dice the onion. Place in the slow cooker.
Drain the soaking chickpeas and add them to the slow cooker with the diced lamb.
Measure out and add the spices and dried apricots and mix well.
If your slow cooker dish goes on the hob/stove top, add the tinned tomatoes and 300ml freshly boiled water, mix well, and bring to the boil on the stove top.
Otherwise, bring the tomatoes to the boil in the microwave or in a pan while you chop the vegetables then stir through the other ingredients with 300ml freshly boiled water.
Place on low to cook for 8 hours as per your slow cooker's instructions.