Bean tajine with cheesy potato dumplings

Inspired by Algeria’s Tajine El Khoukh, this vegetarian recipe uses a mixture of beans and cheese for maximum flavour. Tajine El Khoukh literally translates as ‘peach tagine’, so-called because the beautiful crunchy potato dumplings look like miniature blushing peaches.

INGREDIENTS

For the tajine

  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of chickpeas
  • 1 cup of kidney beans
  • 1 cup of haricot beans
  • ½ cup of peas
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • Salt

For the dumplings

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • Soft white cheese like Dairylea (or feta if you can find it!)
  • Salt
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 small knob of butter
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • Flour for coating
  • Light oil for frying

METHOD

For the tajine

  1. Soak the chickpeas, kidney beans and haricot beans overnight and boil for a couple of hours until tender. The exact cooking time will depend on the age of your beans. Don’t add salt at the beginning, this will prevent your beans from softening.
  2. In a separate pan, add a glug of olive oil and cook the finely chopped onions over a low heat until soft and translucent.
  3. Add the minced garlic and cook for a few more minutes.
  4. Add the paprika and cumin, then add the beans in their hot water and continue to cook until slightly melting and reduced.
  5. Season with salt and mix in the chopped parsley.

For the dumplings

  1. Peel the potatoes and chop them into cubes. Boil in salted water until soft – around 15 minutes – then drain.
  2. Mash the potatoes with a pinch of nutmeg and a knob of butter. Then cook over a low heat for a few minutes to dry out the mash.
  3. Allow the mash to cool completely, then beat in the egg.
  4. Make balls of potato about the size of a small egg and then push a small cube of cheese into the centre of each dumpling, closing the mash around it.
  5. Roll the dumplings smooth and the coat them in a dusting of flour.
  6. Heat your oil in a fryer or a wide pan. Test the heat of the oil with a blob of leftover potato. The potato should immediately begin to fry, but not burn. If the oil is too cold, the dumplings will just soak up the oil and disintegrate.
  7. Lower the dumplings into the oil and fry until they take on a nice even golden colour, just like small peaches.
  8. Arrange in a dish around the bean tagine and sprinkle the dish with parsley. Serve with bread.

Coat your khoukh in breadcrumbs rather than flour for an extra crispy golden crunch!