Campfire Recipe: Spicy Vegetable Tagine with Couscous

A few years ago, a friend of mine from college came to visit. While he was in town, I suggested that we go camping for the weekend. As I was packing up my camping kitchen, he noticed the Dutch ovens. Through our conversation, he began to talk about a “tagine.” This term refers to a clay container that is used like a Dutch oven. It is designed to slowly cook meat and vegetables into a stew. While this recipe does not contain meat, the “tagine” cooking process can still be applied.

Ok, I know you are wondering how this dish came out. Well, I thought it was wonderful but the true test was going to be from my African friend. When my friend went up for seconds, I thought this was a great opportunity to ask his opinion of the dish. Without pausing, he said it reminded him of home. This was a five-star rating as far as I was concerned.

Campfire Recipe:  Spicy Vegetable Tagine with Couscous


Liquid or spray oil

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion

2 medium garlic cloves

2 large carrots

1 medium bell pepper

2 cups of vegetable stock or canned chicken broth

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 small cinnamon stick

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 large zucchini

1 medium eggplant

¼ cup of golden raisins

3 Tablespoons of fresh cilantro

1 package of couscous 



  1. Build fire to prepare the coals.
  2. Lightly grease a 12 inch Dutch oven.
  3. Place a grilling rack above the fire.
  4. Place greased Dutch oven on rack.
  5. Chop the onion, and garlic. Add to the Dutch oven.
  6. Slice the carrots, and bell pepper. Put in the Dutch oven. 
  7. Cook until the onion becomes soft. This will occur in about five minutes.
  8. Add the stock or broth along with turmeric, cinnamon stick, curry powder, and cumin to the 12 inch Dutch oven. Bring the liquid to a boil.
  9. Put the lid on the Dutch oven, and cook for 10 minutes.
  10. Cut the zucchini, and eggplant into chunks. Add these vegetables plus the raisins to the Dutch oven.
  11. Chop the cilantro, and add half to the Dutch oven.
  12. Top the 12 inch Dutch oven with the lid, and move to a heat resistant surface.
  13. Arrange 12 prepared coals in a circle. Top with the 12 inch Dutch oven.
  14. Add 20 to 22 prepared coals to the lid of the Dutch oven.
  15. Cook the vegetables for 25 to 30 minutes.
  16. While the vegetables are cooking, prepare the couscous according to package directions in another Dutch oven.

Once the vegetables are cooked, serve with the cooked couscous and top with remaining cilantro.