Start by making the ras el hanout spice mix. Toast fennel, cumin and coriander seeds in a dry frying pan until fragrant. Cool, then grind in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Combine with remaining spices and store in a small jar. This makes enough spice mix for two tagines.
Preheat oven to 200°C fanbake. Cut eggplant, potatoes, carrot, tomato and cauliflower into even sized chunks, roughly 2-3cm.
Heat olive oil in a frying pan and cook shallots until golden and tender. Remove shallots from the pan, then use the remaining oil in the pan to cook the eggplant until beginning to brown on all sides.
While the shallots and eggplant are cooking, combine all cooking liquid ingredients in a saucepan and gently heat until just simmering and honey has dissolved.
Put the potato, carrot, tomato, olives, eggplant and shallots into a tagine or lidded casserole and stir or toss so they’re evenly distributed. Arrange the chopped cauliflower and chickpeas on top – they don’t need as much cooking.
Pour the hot cooking liquid over the vegetables, put the lid on, then bake for 45-60 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Garnish with chopped parsley and toasted sesame seeds. Serve tagine in bowls with crusty bread to mop up the juices, or with lemony couscous or rice.
You can also cook this tagine in a slow cooker for 4-5 hours on high. I prefer the flavour and texture of the tagine when cooked in the oven, but happily use the slow cooker to have a cosy meal ready to come home to on a busy day.