A Vegan Tagine of Okra, Tomatoes and Onions, a favourite North African Tagine

This Vegan Tagine of Okra, Tomatoes and Onions is a light, slightly tangy tagine full of herby flavours, topped with delicious caramelised onions. So easy to put together and once again, you can cook it in a regular saucepan or wok or make it in a tagine.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

vegetarian tagine with couscous on a blue plate
Vegan Tagine of Okra, Tomatoes and Onions

A Traditional Tagine Recipe

The first time I tasted this very basic vegan tagine recipe was in the town of Sid Bel Abbès in Algeria. Simple but extremely tasty with the topped caramelised onions and is reminiscent of tfaia tagines, which are tagines topped with said onions.

Since then I’ve had it on a number of occasions, many times in Morocco and on half those occasions, the okra tagine was made with minced beef or lamb.

I must admit, making it with a little meat deepens the flavour of the whole tagine and is the way that my husband likes to eat this dish, because he hates tomatoes, isn’t a big fan of okra and is undecided when it comes to onions! So our Vegan Tagine today is a bit of a non starter really, for him.

Which is why when I make it at home, without any meat, it always accompanies another main dish, whether another meat tagine or as a side to bryanis and other North African or Middle Eastern recipes.

lady pouring marinade on tagine, Tagine cooking class
Tagine Masterclass, photo taken by a student

How to Serve our Vegan Tagine?

With fresh bread, just the way I like eating all tagines! Nothing allows you to soak up, literally, the delights a tagine has to offer, than bread! Needless to say, you can serve with any starch you like.

I don’t have much in terms of advice with today’s recipe, it’s pretty straightforward. I keep the okra whole, instead of slicing them for two reasons:

  1. We don’t have a gooey gelatinous tagine, which not everyone is a fan of, even if I am!
  2. It makes for a prettier presentation, having the tagine meet in the middle, as you see.

Once again, we’ll be making chermoula as the base of the “sauce” and flavour in our Vegan Tagine. It’s a very mild and light chermoula, if you compare it to the other ones we use in our Tagine Masterclass.

closeup of vegetarian tagine, Vegan Tagine of Okra, Tomatoes and Onions
Doesn’t that look amazing?

Vegan Tagine Recipe

One of the identifying flavours of this okra, tomato and onion tagine is the final topping of fried, caramelised onions. Frying the onions in the tagine will take longer, as for starters, you’ll be waiting about 10 minutes for your tagine to heat up. So, sometimes, I get that done in a frying pan, while the tagine is cooking. And that’s the method we shall be employing today, for simplicity.

Of course, using the tagine to caramelise the onions will add just that little bit of extra flavour to the other half of the onions that will form the base. So, fry your onions in the tagine if you have the time and the inclination. But don’t fret too much about this point, as this vegan tagine is going to be eaten with the caramelised onion, remember?

Spice level of this Vegan Tagine: I’ve had all sorts, so it is up to you to spice up or down, and this can be achieved with the paprika as well as the green chilli you use. Either use a hot paprika or a hotter type of green chilli, like a scotch bonnet or Thai birds eye. Or both.

Buying Okra – look for the bright green, firm ones. These are the younger, fresher okra and will have less tendency to split when cooking whole. Stay well away from the khaki green coloured ones and most certainly, leave those with obvious black, brown or grey streaks.

Not a fan of okra? Use green beans or broad beans. Green beans will need a shorter cooking time, maybe about 10 minutes less.

That’s it. Let’s get our aprons on!

Images by LinsFoodies

If you like the recipe, don’t forget to leave me a comment and that all important, 5-star rating! Thank you!

And if you make the recipe, share it on any platform and tag me @azlinbloor, and hashtag it #linsfood

Lin xx

Vegan Tagine of Okra, Tomatoes and Onions

A Vegan Tagine of Okra, Tomatoes and Onions

This Vegan Tagine of Okra, Tomatoes and Onions is so easy to put together; you can cook it in a regular saucepan or wok or make it in a tagine.
5 from 46 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: North African
Keyword: tagine
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 128kcal
Author: Azlin Bloor


  • 350 g fresh, whole okra
  • 2 large onions
  • 5 medium firm tomatoes
  • 5 sprigs of fresh coriander leaves cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp EV olive oil


  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 fresh green chilli spicy or not, your choice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • pinch ground cumin
  • 1 small handful fresh coriander leaves cilantro
  • 4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
  • 1 Tbsp EV olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp water


  • Make the chermoula by placing all the ingredients for it in a chopper and chop/blend to a fairly fine mix.
  • Slice both onions and 4 of the tomatoes into rings.
  • Chop the other tomato into small cubes, as you can see in the images.
  • Line your tagine (or saucepan) with some of the onion rings to form a single layer.
  • Follow this with all the tomato rings, even if you form 2-3 layers.
  • Then lie the okra all around the base, coming together in the middle to form a cone shape. Don’t worry too much about a perfect cone, given the different lengths of the okra, this won’t be all that easy.
  • Scatter the chopped tomatoes all over.
  • Finish by pouring the chermoula all over the okra.
  • Place the tagine (or saucepan) on the stove and heat on medium heat to bring to a simmer. Don’t forget the diffuser under the tagine!
  • When the content of your pot has come to a simmer, lower the heat down to low and simmer slowly until the okra are all cooked. This will take only about 15 minutes in the saucepan and 20-25 minutes in the tagine, depending on how cooked you like your okra. Remember that the vegetables will continue cooking even after you take it off the heat. So always take it off earlier, rather than later.
  • While the tagine is cooking, heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small frying pan on medium heat and fry the onions for a good 15 minutes until they are a golden colour with burnt/brown bits. Turn the heat down if you have to, if they are browning too quickly. Set aside when done to serve.
  • Top with the caramelised onions and scatter the chopped coriander leaves all over and serve with some fresh bread, couscous or as an accompaniment, as mentioned above.


Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 630mg | Potassium: 382mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1075IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 1mg
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27 thoughts on “A Vegan Tagine of Okra, Tomatoes and Onions, a favourite North African Tagine”

  1. Marie Ann Ashraf

    Besides your falooda recipe, I also made this. This was the main, as I had one friend who was vegan. Doubled the quantity and served it with your couscous salad! Haha, the whole lunch was courtesy of LinsFood! Merci!

  2. Oh boy. . .this beautiful tagine is reminding me of my magical trip to Morocco where I couldn’t get enough tagine. Lucky for me I will be moving soon and I will be able to get my tagine out of storage so that I can recreate those memories. P.S. My hubby is like yours. . .meat is an absolute must.

  3. This looks amazing! I love that you didn’t cut up the okra. I grew up eating okra so I know I would love this recipe. The ingredient list sounds perfect!

  4. I just love a good tagine and I really enjoy okra so this is right up my alley, I could chow down on this all day without feeling guilty

  5. I have both fresh green beans and fresh okra in my kitchen right now. And fresh tomatoes. I LOVE a good veggie tagine, so we may make use of this recipe tonight!

  6. I was this week walking around a kitchenware shop and saw a beautiful Creuset ($$$) Tagine pot! Made me think of this recipe! I’ve got to find a cheaper Tagine though… Creuset cost a pretty penny… Definitely trying this soon!

  7. I absolutely love cooking in my tagine. This looks delicious, except for the okra. I have yet to find it cooked to a way that I like. It always seems slimy to me..and from what I understand that means it is not cooked right. Yours looks delicious, and I would think cooked to perfection.

  8. This looks good. I’ve never made a tagine before, so don’t own a tagine pot. I would love to make this for the girlfriend, will it be just as good in a regular pan?

    1. It definitely will be, John. The only difference you’ll notice is you’re using an unglazed tagine and especially if you cook it on an open fire.

  9. Amanda Hopkinson

    Oh cool, another great addition to your Tagine Masterclass! I don’t think I’ve had a vegan/vegetarian tagine without the usual chickpeas and pulses – everyone uses the same ingredients. That’s what I love about your blog – you are different, your recipes are authentic and unique. Have bookmarked for a dinner party in a few weeks for my vegetarian friends. Thank you!

  10. Sally Perkins

    How fantastic, I am vegan, and just saw this recipe on G+ and am now following you EVERYWHERE! Have also subscribed to your blog. Love your blog, and I am looking forward to making this for my hubby this weekend!

  11. Jennifer Baines

    Amazing! I’m so glad I subscribed to your blog after visiting your harissa post. This looks so delicious and I shall trust you in that it’s easy too! It’s going in my weekly menu for Saturday. Thank you, Lin!

  12. Hachim Baddou

    Wonderful! I am subscribed to your Flipboard magazine and just had to come and tell you that I love this recipe. I am Algerian from a town not far from Sid Bel Abbès! This is how my mother used to make it, she also preferred not to cut the okra! Great job and collection of tagine recipes!

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