HOW TO MAKE A
HEARTY MOROCCAN TAGINE
Looking for a unique dish to make over the weekend? How about an aromatic Moroccan tagine, slow-cooked to perfection, with a combination of succulent meats, spices and vegetables? The perfect remedy for wintery weather.
WHAT IS A MOROCCAN TAGINE?
The Moroccan tagine, a sweet and savoury meaty stew, is slow-cooked in a clay pot with an abundance of vegetables and dry fruits thrown in. The spicy concoction is traditionally prepared in a conical-shaped dish with a flat, circular bottom and a removable cover, also known as the tagine. Once the dish is ready, it can be served on the plate it rests on - making it a perfect dinner party recipe.
This delicious stew isn't the only dish that's sure to satisfy, we've got plenty more culinary delights to try when in Mexico.
WHAT GOES INTO THE MOROCCAN TAGINE
Chicken is preferred in Morocco, but beef, lamb and fish tagines are also popular. Chunks of sautéed meat are marinated with a variety of spices, such as ginger, cayenne pepper, turmeric, paprika and cinnamon, besides a helping of almonds and raisins. Roast a generous helping of red onions, before adding the meat, for that sweet flavouring. Moroccan tagine also uses a generous helping of fruits like apples, apricots, prunes, pears, squash and olives, with a dash of salted lemon and honey.
If you're a vegetarian, make this tasty dish with zucchini, carrots and lots of other root vegetables and fruits. The trick is to use less than 200ml of water to ensure the flavours don’t get diluted, this is where the unique shape of the tagine helps by condensing the steam into a thick and delicious gravy. For a truly authentic flavour, add some harissa or Moroccan chilli paste, a blend of fiery dried red chillies, olive oil and garlic. Season with fresh sprigs of parsley and coriander and serve with a flourish - plus you can pair it with couscous and fresh crunchy bread for dipping.
COOKING IN A TAGINE
The tagine or clay vessel which slow cooks the aromatic stew, traditionally over coals, is usually placed on a low flame or in an oven. If you don’t possess a tagine, don’t worry, you can use a deep frying pan with a lid in the same way. Metal and glazed ceramic tagines are preferred for authenticity and flavour, but slow cookers are often used as a substitute. Remember to add a generous dose of olive oil and a dollop of butter, if required, for a delicious Moroccan tagine.
PATIENCE IS A KEY INGREDIENT
A tagine can take hours in the making, depending on what meats you throw in. Try to resist the temptation to lift the lid and check what’s going on underneath, as it can interfere with the cooking process.
TRY MOROCCAN TAGINE IN MARRAKECH
While we're sure you've got your tagine cooking down a tee, there's nothing quite like tasting a dish in the country it originates from. If you're going to Italy, you're bound to try the local pizza and pasta - right? You'll find some of the best authentic tagines in the bustling city of Marrakech, where you can stroll a maze of souks in famous Djemma el Fna square and indulge in the fantastic street food - other delicacies include mint tea and date milkshakes!