Moroccan Tagine is spicy and savory, sweet and flavorful, with a sauce as thick as syrup. It is a dish of tender meat, fish, or vegetables stewed to perfection in a thick oily sauce, with the addition of fruit, herbs, spices, often honey, and chili. Classic tagine is lamb stew with dried fruit, chicken with pickled lemons and green olives, duck with dates and honey, and fish cooked with fresh tomatoes, lemon, and cilantro.
Today we can enjoy Tagine thanks to the Berbers, natives of northern Africa and Egypt. Although Tagine is a Berber dish, other peoples living at different times in Morocco have influenced its taste and preparation. These include Arabs, Moorish descendants who migrated from Andalusia, Sephardic Jews, and French colonizers.
Incidentally, Tunisia also makes tagine, but of a very different kind. Tunisian Tagine is more like an Italian frittata, or casserole in our words.
Make yourself comfortable in your chair, and listen to my story about Moroccan Tagine. Once I tried this dish, I fell in love with it unconditionally and forever. My house is filled with books about Moroccan cuisine and Tagines of all colors and sizes. Don’t be embarrassed by the abundance of the word “Tagine” in the story. The thing is that Tagine is not only a dish but also the dishes in which it is cooked. The dishes are very unusual and beautiful. There is something fabulous about it. I mean, look at the domed lid.
The embedded meanings of the Moroccan Tagine
Tagine is not just decorative – it has a lot of meaning. This is the perfect pan for stewing. This is because, thanks to the domed lid, there is a special condensation of steam. Tagine cooks for a long time and over low heat. The steam, soaked in spices, rises up, condenses on the walls of the dome, and flows back onto the ingredients. Thus, there is a constant circulation of moisture inside the Tagine. Thanks to this process, whatever you cook in the Tagine, everything turns out unusually tender and juicy, enveloped by aromatic steam.
Real Moroccan Tagines are made of clay. Further, the Tagine can be glazed (poured) and even painted. Or it can be untreated at all. You will need a very ordinary Tagine for cooking. The patterns aren’t necessary. If you manage to buy a real Moroccan Tagine, don’t forget to soak it in water overnight.
This way you reduce the risk of cracking. Unglazed cookware is good because it absorbs spices and oils, so your Tagines will taste better each time. When choosing a Tagine, make sure it has a very thick and heavy bottom. Otherwise, it will inevitably crack. Moroccans have traditionally cooked their Tagines over smoldering coals. If you have a gas stove, be sure to buy a flame-spreader. If you have a glass-ceramic stove, choose a Tagine with a thick bottom and use it very carefully.
The best Tagine brands
Although for cooking Moroccan Tagine at home, especially on the glass hob, it is still preferable to buy French-made Tagine. Our stores abound in Tagines of well-known and very high-quality brands Emile Henry and Staub, Le Creuset. These brands will offer you heat-resistant ceramic or enameled cast iron. Cast iron is good because you can fry the meat on it before braising. In the north, in cities like Tangier and Casablanca, where Spanish and French influence on the local cuisine is evident, the meat is roasted beforehand. In Fes and Marrakech, Tagines are often cooked by simply putting all the ingredients together and adding a little water and oil at the end of the cooking.
One more nuance. The dome of a proper Tagine should have a hole for the steam to escape. Otherwise, the liquid will try to “escape” through the gap between the base of the tagine and its lid. If your Tagine has no hole, take it to a watchmaker or jeweler. With trembling hands, he will drill you a hole a few millimeters in diameter. I have done this with all my Tagines. I have as many as 5 of them!
To serve it, you should choose a nice decorative Moroccan or other types of Tagine. In it, you put the ready dish. A decorative Tagine can be painted, embossed silver, or even with semi-precious stones. The beauty is so breathtaking!
After you cook your chosen Tagine and wash the dish itself, be sure to leave it to dry overnight without covering the base with a lid. Otherwise, mold will set in. This applies not only to authentic Tagines but also to ceramic ones. Cast-iron (and enameled) base, I recommend periodically greasing with vegetable oil and burning on the stove.
What do we do when we cook a Moroccan Tagine?
We stew, whether it’s meat, poultry, or fish.
Braising is the process of cooking small pieces of meat at a barely noticeable boil. Sometimes the meat is pre-fried until crispy and then braised. Stew is also different in that it is usually served in a sauce made from the liquid in which it was stewed. The liquid can be water, broth, or even wine. The advantage of the liquid is that it transports heat quickly and distributes it evenly. Its temperature can be easily adjusted as desired by the cook, it can acquire flavor and transfer it, thereby becoming a sauce. But unlike oil, liquid cannot get hot enough to give meat the flavor and aroma of roasted meat. That’s why meat is often roasted before stewing. It doesn’t matter what you’re braising, it’s important that the liquid temperature not exceed 80 degrees. Then the top of the meat will not overcook.
Tagine can be made not only of meat, but also of poultry, fish and seafood, and vegetables.
When it comes to meat, the cheaper and tougher parts are traditionally chosen. A long stew will make them melt in your mouth. Lamb in the Tagine can languish all day. It requires almost no effort on your part! In the morning, put the lamb and spices in a Tagine, add some liquid, and stew over very low heat all day long. Lamb necks or shanks are perfect for this purpose. Thirty minutes before the end of cooking, add fruits, vegetables, olives of your choice.
Poultry and fish don’t need such a long cooking time, so an hour to an hour and a half is fine for chicken, and 40 minutes maximum for fish. Shrimp should not be cooked long at all, otherwise, they will become rubbery. Strictly speaking, shrimp Tagine does not make much sense. Although I once cooked such a variant, it was quite good
Another indispensable ingredient in many Tagine recipes is salted lemons. Essentially, these lemons are leavened in a salt solution. Sometimes spices are added to the solution. Although we believe that none of this is authentic pampering, no spices are necessary. Lemons are very easy to make yourself. The only downside to homemade is that you have to wait a month before using them. Not only are these lemons good in Tagines, but also in salads and couscous.
If you’re not yet ripe for traditional cookware, try making your Moroccan Tagine in a cast iron deep skillet or cocotte. I promise you’ll soon want to buy the right traditional cookware!
I suggest you start your introduction to this cuisine with the recipes I’ve tried more than once and are incredibly delicious. Here I want to show you just one recipe for clarity. This is my favorite tagine!
Ingredients for chicken Tagine with caramelized fruit:
- 1 chicken (1.5 kg)
- An apple
- 1 pear
- 8-10 shallots
- 1 onion
- 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- ground cinnamon for decoration
- 1 tbsp. grated ginger
- 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
- 200 ml. saffron water
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 bundle of coriander tied with white string
- 2 tbsp honey
- 20g butter
- 30 ml rose water (optional)
- salt, pepper to taste
Steps for preparing this kind of Moroccan Tagine:
- Cut the chicken into 8 pieces. Heat vegetable oil in the base of a tagine. Dice onion and fry in oil until lightly golden. Add the chicken, coriander, ginger, cinnamon sticks, salt, pepper, and saffron water. Close the tagine with a lid, and simmer everything over low heat for 45 minutes.
- Peel apples and pears, cut into quarters, and remove cores. Melt the butter in a pan. Stir in the honey. Place the fruit in the pan and caramelize it. The fruit should coat all sides in honey, taking on a nice golden color and lightly crusted. Drizzle the caramelized fruit with rose water (if using) and let it boil. Sprinkle cinnamon over the fruit.
- Pour the shallot over boiling water and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. This will make it easier to peel. Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan, caramelize the shallot in it for 10 minutes, or until browned on all sides.
- If desired, the fruit can be caramelized without honey, like shallots.
- In a small skillet, gently toast the sesame seeds until gently golden, stirring constantly to keep them from sticking.
- Add apples, pears, and shallot to cooked chicken. Cover the tagine with a lid, and simmer for another 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove cilantro.
- Decorate the tagine with sesame seeds. You can dip a few pieces of fruit into the sesame seeds for beauty. Serve immediately.
- If you decide to fully recreate the Moroccan setting, you should gather the whole family around the table and eat the finished dish with your hands, gripping the food with your index, middle, and thumb. That’s how real Moroccans eat! Oh yes, and don’t forget to serve hot tortillas that you dip in the sauce.
A little bit about saffron:
Saffron, the undoubted king of spices, is often added to Tagines. It can be used more effectively if you make saffron water from it. The prepared solution can be stored in the refrigerator for three to four weeks. One teaspoon of saffron threads will yield 250 ml of saffron water.
Preparing saffron water is simple. To do this you need:
- Heat a frying pan over very low heat, and fry the stamens stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes until the saffron turns a deep red color.
- Immediately transfer the saffron to a mortar and grind it into a powder. You can use a small bowl and a wooden spoon.
Carefully pour the powder into a clean pitcher or glass without losing any of its precious grains, and pour 250 ml of warm water over it. Close tightly and shake well. The saffron should almost dissolve in the water.
- Allow to cool, and place in the refrigerator. Or use as directed.
Moroccan beef Tagine with dried fruits
One day I had a visit from a chef. For a long time, I have been meaning to write an in-depth post about Tagine. His visit spurred my desire even more.
He was making osso buco Tagine (that is, beef shanks). Yeah, sorry, no other meat was available. I find that for Tagine, shin is perfect because it is meat on the bone. Moroccans most often use the less expensive parts of lamb or beef on the bone. Since the tagine takes a long time to cook, the meat eventually becomes very tender and literally falls off the bone. That said, no one and nothing stops you from using more expensive parts of the animal.
First, let’s deal with the vessel itself – the Tagine.
What is the meaning of the dome?
Thanks to such an unusual lid, we get condensation of steam, in which whatever you cook, everything turns out very tender and juicy. The fact is that we cook everything with the lid closed and on very low heat. In doing so, the steam soaked in spices will rise up, condense down, and steam up again. Authentic Tagines have a hole in the dome through which excess steam must escape. Otherwise, it will try to escape into the gap between the base and the lid, which is not right. The dish will properly soak up the flavors of spices and herbs, becoming very soft and fragrant.
At the same time we will get juicy meat or fish, depending on what we are cooking, and sauce – thick and fragrant as syrup. In addition, the meat will be incredibly soft. Meat in the Tagine cooks long enough, from two hours or more. Chicken, fish, and vegetables do not need such a long-simmering. Nevertheless, they also become very delicious in the tagine, get a special texture and flavor. Tagine retains moisture inside itself, hence the juiciness. The heat is cooked from the bottom, through the base of the tagine, and from the top, thanks to the steam cooking.
The lid usually has a handle with a recess, so it is easy to remove it and check the process of cooking. It is convenient to put a spoon in the recess, with which you stir the tagine. I, however, still prefer a wooden spatula. Once you remove the lid, you can serve your dish right in the base. The base is shallow and made so for a reason. The thing is that the Moroccans serve the ready dish in the dish itself, or put it in its more ornate version.
Eat Tagine like Moroccans do!
Here in Morocco, we eat with our hands, spreading around the dish in a circle, gripping the food with our thumb, index finger, and middle finger. It is considered to be a churlish thing to put one’s fingers on one’s neighbor’s territory. Although such a custom seems strange to some people, you must agree that there is a special flavor in it.
What kind of tagine to buy?
Moroccans cook in ordinary clay tagines. There are several types, but more on that later. Glazed and painted ones are used for serving. It would be good if the tagine had a very thick and heavy bottom. In our country, it is difficult to buy such a Tagine. Besides, traditionally Moroccans cook their Tagine on smoldering coals, and the usual clay Tagine is not quite adapted to home gas or electric stoves. It is likely to develop a web of fine cracks. On a gas stove, the issue can be solved by using a cracker. In addition, if you, all the same, manage to get an authentic pot, be sure to soak it overnight in cold water. This way you reduce the risk of cracking.
If you can’t find an authentic Moroccan Tagine, the French are here to help. The French have a close connection with Morocco for well-known historical reasons. Not surprisingly, several well-known French brands make Tagines. What’s more, Tagines are not simple, but quite adaptable to the home environment.
Of course, Tagines come in completely different sizes: both portion-sized and large enough to cook dinner for 12 or more people. I suggest choosing yours according to the size and appetites of your family. I have three sizes of tagine: small for when I want to treat myself, medium for two to three people, and large for guests.
Try to find an authentic dish. Perhaps you will need to book a tour in Morocco. Or ask friends to bring it to you. But I wouldn’t give up a European-made ceramic tagine, either.
So, generously and step by step.
My chef is from Fes. He showed me a traditional Fesian Tagine. I really insisted that I wanted an authentic, not touristy, Tagine. Depending on the region of Morocco, the cooking method can vary. In this case, you and I are witnessing a cooking method in which some of the products are cooked separately and added to the already prepared dish.
Regarding the water: did some long and painful research. He confirmed my hunches. Water is, of course, added to the tagine. But in small amounts. The amount depends on the amount of meat, vegetables, and the size of the tagine. In the end, there should be almost no water left.
There you go!
- The meat was a little over a kilogram. You won’t get the exact proportions. The chef did everything by eye, sniffing out how much was needed. I advise you to be guided by your tastebuds.
- First, he crushed three cloves of garlic. Then he finely chopped the cloves.
- He put them in a bowl, or rather, in the base of the tagine. Then he added some ginger, cinnamon, Ras-ale-Hanut, turmeric, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. I chopped saffron threads with a knife and put them there too. Pour a little water (3 tbsp). In the end, I added olive oil.
- Stirred it up. Put the meat in the tagine, sprinkled it on all sides with all this mixture. Covered it with a lid, leaving it to marinate. In the meantime, I started onions.
- The onions (2 large onions) we cut into large cubes.
- Having melted butter in the base of another tagine in regular olive oil (for frying), I added onions, which I fried until soft and transparent.
Some other steps:
- At the same time, we got busy with dried fruit and almonds. In separate bowls, we poured boiling water over dried apricots, prunes, and almonds (to easily peel them).
- When the onions were cooked, my Moroccan friend moved the meat to the onions along with the marinade. He added some water to the bowl, where the whole thing was marinating, literally, to wash off all the spices and not to lose anything.
- Then I added the water to the meat. I covered the Tagine with a lid, and we forgot about it for two hours. To be exact, we almost forgot. Periodically, the meat should be turned.
Let’s continue with the dried fruit. Aziz put apricots and prunes in separate pots. Pour water to just cover them. He added sugar (half a kilo of sugar per 1 kilo of dried fruits) and some honey, a cinnamon stick, 2-3 cloves, some nutmeg and some ale hanut. I boiled it all over low heat for about 15 minutes, until I got a syrup like this.
- Already peeled, we sent the almonds into the oven to dry a little and get golden.
- We fried the sesame seeds in a pan until golden.
- Also boiled two eggs.
- We waited for the meat. In the meantime, we salted the lemons. Anyone interested in how this is done is welcome to visit here. There are updated pictures for clarity.
- The meat stewed for about two hours over low heat. Gained a confident golden color. The liquid evaporated, the sauce became thick. I couldn’t wait to dip the bread in it…
A little story about a little fire
Cooking on a 9. And this is the maximum on my induction. An induction disk was placed between the Tagine and the stove. So this maximum fire Aziz called small. This surprised me. This point is left for me to research and ponder although I am Moroccan. Was he right, or did he want to finish with me sooner?) At 4 – 5, the meat would have taken 4 hours to get to the point. Generally speaking, traditionally meat tagines take a very long time to cook. If there are some incredibly passionate people, I suggest you still put a medium heat for your stove and give the tagine a lot more time.
Well, the meat is done. We decorate it with dried fruit, almonds, sesame seeds, and eggs cut into 2 pieces. Lightly pour the syrup from the dried fruit.
The result: incredibly tender meat + amazingly delicious sauce.
P.S. If you are not a fan of sweetness combined with meat, just add the dried fruit 10 minutes before the end of the stew.
One more thing: lamb, of course, is great for this recipe.
Moroccan salted lemons – cooking technology
As I said, salted lemons are needed for tagines! Although you can try adding them to other dishes as well. They will give your food a special spicy touch.
Why am I writing about them? What gives me that right?
The fact is, being a restless Moroccan fan, I’ve tried a bunch of different ways. It seems such a simple thing, and in the books, you will find dozens of variations. I cooked according to different recipes: with water, without water, with the addition of lemon juice immediately and after a couple of days, with oil and without, with spices and without.
But every time after a month I got something that tasted moldy. My family didn’t always politely set the lemon slices aside on the edge of their plates. I didn’t know what they were supposed to be, but I knew something was wrong here.
There are, by the way, speedways. But I haven’t tried them yet, and I’m not likely to. Salted lemons are almost like good wine. They need time.
And then I realized……..
Don’t think I’m not a genius at all. I parted with 200 bucks (yes, now a bourgeois) and took a master class from a chef in Fes. As a bonus, he showed me how to make lemons.
Let me tell you right off the bat, Aziz is an ardent opponent of all sorts of pink snot spices. “Lemons, salt, period,” he said:
-“If you are still a spice lover, for a not-so-traditional way you will need”:
- Small lemons (I’m not a bourgeois, but I found mine at Azbuka Taste)
- A few cinnamon sticks
- bay leaves
- coarse salt
- I don’t give exact amounts, it all depends on the jar. I have 9 lemons in my jar.
- Lemons it is desirable to buy not only small but also without wax. If there is wax, you need to scrub it off with a brush. Now we put each lemon on the butt and cut lengthwise, but not all the way through. Turn it over on the other side, and make the same cut perpendicular to the first one. You will have 4 slices joined together.
Sterilize the jar.
If you want a Moroccan tagine with spices, then:
- At the bottom of the jar pour 1 tbsp. salt (you can 2). We put a cinnamon stick, bay leaf, peppercorns. Now take the lemon, and put in 1 tsp of salt. I put half a tsp. on both sides.
- Put it in the jar. Press it down hard. With all your might, I’d say. And so fill the jar to the middle. Put bay leaf, cinnamon, pepper in the same amount. Lemons again. Up to the end of the jar.
- And now, pay attention! Why did my lemons not turn out? I left room for air, and it wily wandered quietly through the jar for a month.
- This is not the way to do it. The jar is packed to the brim.
- In the end, we press down again, properly, so that more salt comes out.
- If your family doesn’t like all those bay leaves and cinnamon sticks, it’s the same thing, but without them.
- And then in a month, you will have those very salty lemons!
Shrimp Moroccan Tagine with fennel
- 5 tbsp. olive oil
- 20 large headless shrimps (raw)
- 2 onions, cut in half rings
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 25 grams of fresh ginger, grated
- pinch of saffron
- 1-2 tablespoons paprika
- 400 grams of canned tomatoes
- A small bunch of coriander and parsley, finely chop the leaves.
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 2 fennel bulbs sliced lengthwise
- salt, pepper to taste
- Heat 3 tbsp oil in the base of a tagine, add shrimp, and fry for 2-3 minutes. Put them on a plate, add onion, garlic, ginger, and saffron to the tagine. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Add paprika, tomatoes, and half of the herbs. Stir in sugar and season with salt and pepper. Braise over low heat for 10 minutes. The sauce should thicken.
- In the meantime boil the fennel for 5 to 8 minutes. Then fry it in the remaining oil on both sides until golden. Season with salt and pepper.
- Stir the shrimp into the sauce, place the fennel on top, close the tagine with the lid and cook for another 5 minutes.
Except that you can really feel all the charm of cooking only in unglazed Tagine.
What is the difference?
The difference is easy enough to explain. Unfilled can (and should) be soaked in water before cooking. The water will gradually evaporate. Outside, cooling the cookware, keeping it from overheating. And inside, keeping food from drying out. At the top of the handle of the dome is a bowl-shaped recess, in which additional water is poured to make up for losses from evaporation. From this cavity water slowly spreads along the walls of the dome, accordingly, it needs to be added as it gets smaller. Excess steam escapes through the hole in the side. In this way, the Moroccan Tagine regulates the cooking process itself.
The lower part – the bowl – gets hotter, the water evaporates from it quite quickly. And this is also useful because it is desirable that the condensation droplets that inevitably form on the dome (although a little, but still there is) turned into steam in contact with a wide rim, on which the dome-lid lies, rather than pouring on the food being cooked. They are quiet enough to wet the atmosphere created by evaporation from the walls of the dishes.
Naturally, glazed tagines are completely devoid of all these advantages. There is nothing to talk about metal (especially cast-iron ones). No, I like cast-iron dishes. But to call something metal a tagine… You can, but, excuse me, this is a deception of the consumer.
Other types of Moroccan Tagine
In addition to the actual poured or un-poured tagines, you can find some hybrid types on the market where one of the sides (usually the exterior) is unglazed. There is no sense in buying them because on the inside there is a protective layer that prevents liquid from evaporating inside the dish.
Differences when cooking different foods.
Does the above mean that you can’t cook in glazed tagines? No, of course, you can. I’ve cooked in them for years. However, it would be desirable to compensate for the lack of moisture, since the moist atmosphere in them is created only by the evaporation of juices from the products. Accordingly, you either need to put a lot more juicy vegetables or … Yes, add liquid to the bowl. The cooking process will go a little differently, nevertheless, in the end, the meat will be almost the same taste and texture. If, of course, you manage to guess with the amount of added liquid. You want tagine, not stew.
It’s more complicated with vegetables. Onions won’t be any different. Garlic in heads won’t be different either. Potatoes, if you don’t put them in a bowl, but place them on top of other foods, will be different, but not drastically. Eggplant, on the other hand… It’s a different story. How an unglazed tagine turns, let’s face it, not the best eggplant into a tender, creamy miracle, I don’t know. I do know that there are special varieties with a creamy flavor. And they cost about four times as much as the usual imported ones. Tagin saved us a lot of money, as it turned out, we started with the creamy stuff, and ended up with the regular ones, which had the same taste and texture.
To roast or not to roast meat in a Moroccan Tagine
Moroccans often roast. I personally prefer not to do this. The best thing, in my opinion, is to load all the food into the dish, put it on a small fire (and on the flare, of course) and… that’s it. Except to keep an eye on the amount of water in the knob, but that’s relevant if you’re cooking extra-long cuts like lamb shanks. But salting meat with spices and tasty vegetable oil beforehand is good and very good.
What to cook in a Moroccan tagine?
Anything. It’s just a dish, a tool. And if you’re not a Muslim, you can at least have pork. If you want, cook something traditional like lamb with dried fruit, just don’t buy the sweet stuff that’s been steeped in sugar syrup. Look for regular dried fruits, they have a lot more flavor and aroma. Let them look ugly and shriveled, yep, like apricots. That’s okay, wash them and cook with them. If you like, put salted lemons. They really brighten up the dish.
If you want, cook it with potatoes, you’ll be happy with the taste. This one – beef, potatoes, onions, eggplants. Sprinkle with cilantro when serving.
Be careful with the onions, do not put them on the bottom of the bowl, they may be cooked to the bottom of the bowl by the end of cooking. It is better to place onion rings on the meat or alternate layers with other vegetables.
It is better to have a second Moroccan tagine for cooking fish. But if you managed to get only one bowl, then you will have to clean it with a special brutality after the fish.
How much food to put in?
Traditionally – meat and a little bit of fruit or vegetables.
Or just vegetables. Or fish.
As much as you like. The only rule is to put the foods that require a long cooking time lower, the more delicate ones higher. As in a pot. Limits only the dome, which still needs to cover the mountain of food, and, preferably, that the food does not touch the walls.
Oil. If you cook Moroccan Tagine with meat, then only the oil with which you pre-salted the meat is used. No need to add more oil. If you cook only vegetables, then pour a spoonful of fragrant oil on top, it will be enough.
Keep in mind, the vegetables in the tagine are cooked, well, let’s say, by themselves, in the finished form each vegetable will have its own flavor, almost nothing borrowed from a neighbor in the dish. Yes, even if you pile up a mountain like this (it includes lamb, onions, carrots, pickled lemons, eggplant, and potatoes).
And once again I remind you. There should be very little liquid in the tagine, ideally without liquid at all. Cooking in a tagine is not stewing, but rather poaching. The only difference is that the classical poaching, as it was understood before the revolution, the food stewed in a little oil and its own juice, and tagine – a kind of hybrid of poaching and steaming, but the T medium is much lower. Steam in a steamer has a T of 100C, and in a tagine, the T is unlikely to rise above 85C. It will be about that much below, and even less above. And the juices mostly stay inside the food.
How do you take care of the dishes?
Wash the Moroccan tagine with baking soda. In my opinion, it’s better to boil the dishes after washing them. This ensures that they do not accumulate odor in the pores.
Do not believe the fairy tales about the wonderful unwashed dishes, where the food gets tastier with every cooking. Anything that has been absorbed into the pores will also decompose in them. Do you need it?
In no case do not follow the idiotic recommendations to grease unglazed tagine with oil. I foolishly oiled it when I went away for a month. And I got horrible stinky olive oil, which I had a hard time peeling off. If you put a washed but unboiled tagine in storage, you get the same thing. Tested by my own bitter experience.
The best thing is to boil it after every cooking. Yes, it’s unauthentic. But it’s reliable and practical.
I hope this article will help everyone (or some? ) to get to know and understand more about the concept of “Moroccan tagine”, and try to cook for starters.
What is the history of Moroccan tagine? ›
Historically, the nomads in North Africa used the tagine pot as a “portable oven”, allowing them to prepare food at anytime while moving around. The base of the tagine is wide and shallow; its cover has a conical shape and creates a seal on the base.What are traditional Moroccan ingredients? ›
- Couscous. Couscous is known as a gift from Allah and is a staple of North African countries. ...
- Saffron. Saffron is the stigma of the crocus flower and also the world's most expensive spice. ...
- Cinnamon. ...
- Cumin. ...
- Sweet paprika. ...
- Orange blossom water. ...
- Preserved lemons. ...
- In a large heavy pot or Dutch Oven, heat olive oil over medium heat until just shimmering. ...
- Add garlic and all the chopped veggies. ...
- Cook for 5 to 7 minutes on medium-high heat, mixing regularly with a wooden spoon.
- Add tomatoes, apricot and broth. ...
- Keep the heat on medium-high, and cook for 10 minutes.
The word tagine refers to both the conical-shaped dish and the food that's cooked inside it, which is usually a blend of delicious sweet and savoury flavours. Traditionally the ingredients were packed into the pot, the lid was popped on tight, then it was cooked slowly over a smouldering charcoal fire.What is special about tagine? ›
The tagine's conical shape makes a uniquely moist, hot environment for the dish being cooked. The base is wide and shallow, and the tall lid fits snugly inside. As the food cooks, steam rises into the cone, condenses, and then trickles down the sides back into the dish.Are Moroccans Arab or Berber? ›
Moroccans are primarily of Arab and Berber origin as in other neighbouring countries in the Maghreb region. Arabs make up 67% of the population of Morocco, while Berbers make up 31% and Sahrawis make up 2%.
The four most basic spices used in Moroccan cooking are cumin, black pepper, ginger and turmeric. Other common spices found in many dishes are saffron, paprika, cayenne, chilli (harissa), cinnamon, and sometimes white pepper. There are also some special blends of spices that are used extensively in Moroccan cooking.What are some Moroccan spices list? ›
The ten spices that are the most important to Moroccan cuisine are: Cayenne (felfla), cinnamon (karfa), turmeric (quekoum), ginger (skinjbir), black pepper (elbezar), aniseed (nafaa), seaseme seeds (jinjelan), cumin (kamoon), paprika (felfla hlouwa), and saffron (zafrane).What are Moroccan tagines made of? ›
Typically, a tagine is a rich mixture of meat, poultry, or fish, and most often includes vegetables or fruit. Vegetables may also be cooked alone in the tagine.What is tagine mean in English? ›
: a slow-simmered stew of northwestern Africa traditionally cooked in a covered earthenware pot. also : the pot in which tagine is cooked.
Do you cook tagine on stovetop or in oven? ›
The versatile tagine pot can be used both on top of the stove or put in the oven. Dishes that are cooked in the pot can be taken straight to the table and served from there.What material is best for a tagine? ›
A durable cast-iron tagine is a great option for less-experienced cooks, since they don't crack or burn as easily as clay. They cook well over very high heat, too, and can even be thrown in the oven if you run out of space on the stovetop.
Using tagines on Gas or Electric Stoves
You can perfectly use your tagine pot on your Gas or Electric stove if you use your tagine pot on a heat diffuser on low-to-medium heat. When cooking in your tagine pot, check regularly to make sure the ingredients don't stick to the bottom.
Ginger, saffron, and cinnamon are all staples in a tagine, as they allow the flavour of the chicken to really shine through. Fresh herbs, including parsley and coriander are also used to add to the zesty, fresh taste of the stew.How do you prepare a tagine for the first time? ›
A tagine should be seasoned before using to strengthen and seal it, and, if it is unglazed, to remove the taste of raw clay. To season, soak the lid and base in water for 2 hours. Dry the tagine and brush the interior and exterior of the lid and base with olive oil.Where does the dish tagine come from? ›
History tells us that the nomads in North Africa used this timeless pot as a "portable oven," which allowed them to prepare food while moving from one place to another. Due to its ancient nomadic origins, the tagine dish is from Berber cuisine.What is the origin of the word tagine? ›
The Arabic طجين (ṭažin) is derived from the Berber ṭajin 'shallow earthen pot', from Ancient Greek τάγηνον (tágēnon) 'frying-pan, saucepan'.What country of origin is tagine? ›
Tagine is symbolic of Moroccan cuisine. It is a pot, it is the dish, and it is the icon that shares the history and influences of Morocco. Learn the tagine history and its origins.