All About Tagine: Its Origins from Morocco
All about tagine, Tangy and salty, sweet and delicious, the sauce on Moroccan tagine is as thick as syrup and combines all of those elements. Tender meat, fish, or vegetables are cooked in a rich, oily sauce with a variety of aromatic fruits, herbs, spices, and sometimes even honey and chile. 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 are all examples of classic tagine.
The Berbers of northern Africa and Egypt are responsible for the modern popularity of Tagine. Tagine is a Berber cuisine, although it has been inspired by the cooking styles of other peoples that have lived in Morocco at various periods. Arabs, Moorish Andalusian ancestors, Sephardic Jews, and French colonists are among these groups.
Tunisia, too, produces tagine, but a very distinct kind. The closest American equivalent to the traditional Tunisian Tagine would be a frittata or casserole.
Please take a seat and allow me to tell you the tale of the Tagine I ate in Morocco. Upon first tasting this meal, I knew it would have my undying devotion. All shapes and sizes of Tagines and books on Moroccan cooking may be found at my home. Don’t feel ashamed of how many times the term “Tagine” appears in this narrative. Tagine is not only the cuisine itself, but also the cooking vessels in which it is prepared. These meals are both stunning and out of the ordinary. Something about it is really fantastic. Consider the dome on top.
What the Tagine from Morocco Really Means
Tagine is more than simply a pretty object; it has deep symbolic significance. To make a stew, use this pot. Specifically, the steam condenses in a unique way due to the dome on top. Tagine is slow cooked in a low oven. The aromatic spice-infused steam rises, condenses on the dome’s walls, and then returns to the ingredients below. As a result, the inside of the Tagine is kept wet at all times. The steam and fragrant spices in the Tagine make everything you prepare extraordinarily soft and juicy.
In Morocco, authentic Tagines are baked in clay ovens. The Tagine may also be painted or glazed (poured). One other option is to do nothing at all. An everyday Tagine will do for culinary purposes. You can get away without the designs. To get the most out of your authentic Moroccan Tagine, soak it in water the night before you want to use it.
In this approach, the possibility of cracking is reduced. To get the most out of your Tagines, invest in some unglazed cookware that will soak up all those delicious spices and oils. Be careful to choose a Tagine with a substantial base. If not, it will surely break. Traditional Moroccan tagines are cooked over hot embers. If your stove uses gas, you should invest in a flame-spreader. Carefully use a Tagine with a heavy base if you have a glass-ceramic stove.
Which Tagine Manufacturers Are Best?
Still, a French-made Tagine is the best option for making authentic Moroccan tagine at home, particularly on a glass stovetop. Famous and high-quality Tagines from manufacturers like Emile Henry, Staub, and Le Creuset may be found in our shops. You can get cast iron cookware that can withstand high temperatures with these companies. Meat may be browned in the pan before being braised, making cast iron ideal. Northern locations like Tangier and Casablanca, where Spanish and French influence is obvious in the local cuisine, roast the meat before serving. Cooking a tagine in Fes or Marrakech often entails throwing in all the ingredients and then finishing it off with some water and oil.
There is one additional aspect to consider. An authentic Tagine will have a vent in the dome to allow the steam to escape. If the tagine is not sealed properly, liquid will attempt to “escape” via the space between the base and the lid. Check with a jeweler or watchmaker if your Tagine is missing its hole. The hole he drills will be just a few millimeters in diameter, and his hands will shake as he does it. It is how I have prepared every single one of my Tagines. I have up to 5 of them at a time!
A beautiful Moroccan or other style of Tagine would be perfect for serving this dish. The finished dish is placed inside. You may embellish a Tagine with anything from paint and silver embossing to precious and semiprecious stones. All of this splendor is really stunning.
Don’t forget to let your tagine air dry without the lid on the base after you’ve finished cooking and washing it the night before. If not, mold will begin to grow. This is true not just for genuine Tagines but also for ceramic versions. Greasing the cast-iron (and enameled) base with vegetable oil and using it on the stovetop at regular intervals is a must.
In order to make a traditional Moroccan Tagine, what steps must we take?
Everything from beef to chicken to seafood ends up in our stew pot. Small cuts of beef are braised by simmering in a sauce until the liquid just begins to bubble. In certain cases, the meat is simmered after being first fried to a crisp.
A second distinctive feature of stew is the sauce that is often formed from the stewing liquid. You may use anything from water to wine as the liquid. The liquid’s speed and even heat distribution are two of its greatest benefits. Its heat may be modified to suit the needs of the chef, and it can soak up and transmit other flavors to become a sauce.
However, liquids cannot be heated to temperatures high enough to impart the roasted taste and fragrance to meat. That’s why most recipes call for roasting the meat beforehand before adding it to the stew. No matter what you’re braising, the liquid temperature should never go beyond 80 degrees. This way, the meat won’t overcook on top.
Meat, poultry, seafood, and even vegetables are all fair game for a tagine.
The harder and less expensive cuts of beef have long been the go-tos in the kitchen. They’ll almost melt in your lips after a lengthy stew. Lamb in a Tagine may be let to slowly cook all day. Very little of your time or energy is needed. Put the meat and spices in a Tagine with some water in the morning and let it simmer all day. Using lamb necks or shanks for this reason is ideal. Add your favorite fruits, veggies, and olives 30 minutes before the finish of cooking.
Chicken may be cooked in an hour to an hour and a half, while fish can be cooked in as little as 40 minutes. Cooking shrimp for too long causes them to become tough and rubbery. Shrimp Tagine is not a very logical dish. I’ve only ever made such a variation once, but it turned out well.
Salted lemons are another crucial component of many tagine dishes. These lemons are just left to ferment in a salt solution. The solution is sometimes flavored with various spices. We don’t think of any of this as genuine pampering, but spices aren’t required. Making your own lemonade is a breeze.
You have to wait a month before you can use handmade ones, but that’s really the only drawback. These lemons are great in couscous and salads in addition to Tagines.
Cook your Moroccan tagine in a cast iron deep pan or cocotte until you’re ready for the real thing. I’m certain that you’ll soon find yourself in need of some quality classic cookware.
If you’re new to this cuisine, I highly recommend starting with the dishes I’ve tried several times and found to be consistently great. I’ll show you one method for making things more transparent right now. For the record, this is the best tagine I’ve ever had.
To make chicken Tagine with caramelized fruit, you will need:
One chicken (1.5 kg)
To put it simply, an apple
3 tbsp. oils extracted from plants
Two sticks of cinnamon
As a decorative accent, cinnamon powder
1 tbsp. crushed ginger
2 tbsp. toasted sesame kernels
200 ml. Water with saffron
2 tbsp. oils extracted from plants
One bunch of cilantro wrapped with white ribbon.
2 tablespoons of honey
30-milliliter dose of rosewater (optional)
Just add salt and pepper to taste
Tagine, lamb, or beef cooked in a spicy Moroccan sauce.
How to make a Moroccan Tagine in this style:
Reduce the chicken to eight servings. Warm the oil for cooking in the bottom of a tagine. Cut an onion into cubes and cook them in oil until they are golden brown. Put in the chicken, then add the coriander, ginger, cinnamon sticks, salt, pepper, and saffron water. Put the cover on the tagine and cook the contents for 45 minutes.
Prepare the fruit by peeling it, cutting it in half, and discarding the core. Butter has to be melted in a pan. Combine the honey with the mixture by stirring. Caramelize the fruit by adding it to the pan. Honey should completely cover the fruit, giving it a golden hue and a light crust. Caramelize some fruit, then add rose water (if using) and boil it. Cinnamon should be sprinkled over the fruit.
A shallot may be prepared by pouring boiling water over it and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes. This will facilitate the peeling process. Caramelize the shallot in hot vegetable oil, turning often, for about 10 minutes, or until browned on both sides.
Caramelizing fruit without honey, like shallots, is possible.
Toast the sesame seeds in a small pan over low heat until lightly brown, turning often to prevent sticking.
Cooked chicken tastes even better when paired with fruit and shallots. Simmer for a further 15 minutes with the lid on the tagine. Remove cilantro from heat and set aside to drain for 15 minutes.
Decorate the tagine with sesame seeds. Just dip a few pieces of fruit into the sesame seeds for a quick and easy beauty treatment. Quickly serve.
Gather the family around the table and eat the final meal with your hands, holding it between your index and middle fingers and your thumb for the authentic Moroccan experience. You just ate like a true Moroccan! Don’t leave the table until everyone has had a chance to dip heated tortillas into the sauce.
To give you a taste of saffron, here’s a tiny piece of information:
Many Tagines also use saffron, the undisputed king of spices. If you boil it down into saffron water, it may be put to better use. You have around three to four weeks to keep the prepared solution in the fridge. Saffron water, made from one teaspoon of saffron threads, contains around 250 milliliters.
Saffron water may be made quickly and easily. This requires that you have:
Stamens should be fried in a skillet over low heat, stirred often for about three minutes, until the color of the saffron deepens to a rich crimson.
Put the saffron in a mortar and pound it into a powder as soon as possible. A little bowl and a wooden spoon will do.
Without wasting any of the valuable grains, measure out 250 ml of warm water and pour it carefully over the powder in a clean pitcher or glass. Lock it up and give it a good shake. Saffron, when added to water, should nearly completely dissolve.
Let it cool, then store it in the fridge. Alternately, put it to use as specified.
Tagine with dried fruits and meat from Morocco
A chef paid me a visit one day. I’ve been wanting to do a more in-depth piece about Tagine for quite some time now. My hunger was whetted by his arrival.
Specifically, he was cooking osso buco Tagine (that is, beef shanks). I’m very sorry, but we just had no other meat options. My go-to cut of beef for Tagine is shin since it is bone-in and tender. Traditional Moroccan cuisine often makes use of less costly cuts of lamb or beef on the bone. After a long time in the tagine, the flesh is so soft that it almost slips off the bone. However, you may use any pieces you choose, even if they cost more.
Let’s start with the tagine itself, the vessel.
Just what does the dome symbolize?
When using a cover of this peculiar design, condensation of steam occurs, rendering whatever is cooked in it very delicate and juicy. When we cook, we always make sure the cover is on tight and use extremely low heat. Doing so will cause the spice-infused steam to rise, cool, and then rise again. A hole at the top of a genuine Tagine allows any built-up steam to escape. If not, it can attempt to squeeze through the opening between the container’s bottom and top. Because the dish has had enough time to absorb the spices and herbs, it will be aromatic and tender.
The sauce will be as rich and aromatic as syrup, and the meat or fish, depending on what we are cooking, will be tender and juicy. The meat will also be quite tender. The meat in a Tagine needs at least two hours of cooking time. The same can’t be said for poultry, fish, or veggies. However, they also become very tasty after being cooked in a tagine, acquiring a unique texture and taste. Juiciness comes from the moisture that is retained inside the tagine. In a tagine, food is cooked both from below, by conduction through the ceramic, and above, via steam.
Most lids include a depression for a handle, making it simple to lift off the cover and inspect the food while it cooks. A spoon may be stored in the cutout and used to stir the tagine easily. A wooden spatula is still my tool of choice, however. You may serve the food directly from the base after the cover has been removed. There’s a good reason for the base to be low to the ground. The issue is, when a Moroccan food is complete, it is served in the same dish or a fancier version of the same dish.
Make like a Moroccan and try some tagine!
In Morocco, it is customary to eat with one’s hands, with everyone sitting in a circle around the dish and using their thumb, index finger, and middle finger to hold onto their meal. Putting one’s fingers on one’s neighbor’s property is seen as a petty and rude act. Some may find such a tradition odd, but you can’t deny that it adds a certain character.
Which tagine should I buy?
The common clay tagines used in Moroccan cuisine are a cultural hallmark. Several varieties exist, but we’ll get into that in a while. Some are glazed, while others are painted and used for service. The ideal tagine would have a thick, heavy bottom. We have a hard time sourcing authentic Tagines in our country.
However, the typical clay Tagine is not quite adapted to home gas or electric stoves, so traditional Moroccan cooking is done over smoldering coals. A network of tiny cracks is likely to form. A cracker is the tool to use when this happens on a gas stove. Also, remember to immerse the pot in cold water for at least a full day if you do manage to track down a genuine one. In this approach, the possibility of cracking is reduced.
The French are here to save the day if you can’t get real Moroccan tagine. Historical ties between France and Morocco are well-established. It should come as no surprise that several prestigious French companies produce Tagines. Plus, Tagines aren’t simplistic, but they’re easily adapted to life in the house.
Various sizes, from individual servings to meals for a dozen, are available in the traditional Moroccan cooking vessel known as a tagine. Consider your family’s size and hunger before making your selection. I have a little one for when I just want to indulge myself, a medium one for two to three people, and a huge one for when I have company.
Find a food that is really local. A trip to Morocco might be in order. You might even have your pals deliver it. But a porcelain tagine from Europe is also something I wouldn’t give up.
So, gradually and liberally.
My Fei en origin chef. He demonstrated the preparation of a typical Tagine dish from the region of Fes. I was adamant about ordering a genuine, non-touristy Tagine. Cooking styles in Morocco differ by area. Here, you and I are watching a culinary technique in which certain ingredients are made ahead of time and then incorporated into the final meal.
I performed a lot of unpleasant study into the water situation. It was his confirmation of my suspicions that made me feel so certain. The tagine is prepared by first adding water. But just a little bit. The price will vary with the cut of meat, the number of veggies, and the size of the tagine used. Ultimately, there should be very little liquid remaining.
In other words, you may stop looking now.
A bit more than a kilogram of beef. You can forget about getting accurate measurements. The cook measured ingredients by sight and smell alone. Follow your taste buds; they know best.
Before anything else, he smashed three garlic cloves. Later, he minced the cloves.
He placed them in a bowl, or more accurately, the tagine’s bottom. Then he put in some turmeric, salt, freshly ground black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, Ras-ale-Hanut, and more. I then added some saffron threads that I had cut with a knife. Use a little amount of water (3 tbsp). Last but not least, I put in some olive oil.
I gave it a good stir. The meat was placed in the tagine and liberally coated with the seasoning blend. I put the cover on it and let it marinade. Meanwhile, I got onions going.
Two big onions were diced into bite-sized pieces.
After melting the butter in ordinary olive oil (for frying), I added the onions and cooked them until they were soft and translucent in the base of a second tagine.
Also, we started working on certain almond and dried fruit projects. A mixture of dried apricots, prunes, and almonds were rehydrated by being submerged in a bowl of hot water (to easily peel them).
My Moroccan buddy tossed the meat and marinade into the onions after the onions were done cooking. He poured some water into the basin in which the ingredients were marinating so that the spices could be rinsed away without wasting anything.
After that, I poured the water over the meat. I put the top on the Tagine and we left it alone for two hours. Actually, we nearly forgot about it. The meat has to be rotated at regular intervals.
All right, let’s keep eating the dry fruit. Aziz divided the prunes from the apricots and planted them in different containers. Do not drown them; instead, cover them with water. He put in half a kilo of sugar, a kilo of dried fruits, honey, a cinnamon stick, two or three cloves, some nutmeg, and some ale hanut. For 15 minutes, I cooked everything down to a syrup over low heat.
The almonds were already peeled before being placed in the oven to dry and brown slightly. We used a pan to fry the sesame seeds until they were golden brown. Two eggs were also cooked.
While the meat was being prepared, we waited. Meanwhile, we seasoned the lemons with salt. Anyone curious about the process may come see it for themselves. The images have been modified for better clarity.
The beef was simmered for roughly two hours in a slow cooker. Achieved a radiant gold hue. Once the water content of the sauce decreased, the consistency became more solid. I couldn’t wait to spread it on toast…
There was a little fire, and here is the narrative of what happened.
What to Make in a 9-Inch Oven. My induction has reached its maximum capacity. The Tagine was separated from the burner by an induction disk. Consequently, Aziz deemed this maximum firepower to be insufficient. This caught me off guard. As a Moroccan, it is on to me to investigate and think about this issue.
Was he correct, or was he just trying to get rid of me quickly? For meat to reach the desired doneness at 4 or 5 in the afternoon, it would need to cook for 4 hours. Cooking time for classic meat tagines might often exceed an hour. It’s best to keep the burner at a medium heat and let the tagine cook for much longer if there are a lot of fiery eaters in the group.
In other words, the meat has finished cooking. Dried fruit, almonds, sesame seeds, and halves of eggs are used as decorations. Gently drizzle the syrup from the dried berries.
The ultimate result is beef that is so soft it falls apart and a sauce so flavorful it will blow your mind.
P.S. If you prefer savory over sweet, hold off on adding the dried fruit until the last 10 minutes of cooking time.
Finally, lamb is a natural choice for this dish.
The art of cooking with Moroccan salty lemons
Remember, tagines call for salted lemons! However, they may be used in a variety of other recipes as well. They provide a unique, peppery flavor to anything you’re cooking.
What is the point of this essay? Why should I be allowed to do that?
Being an inquisitive lover of all things Moroccan, I’ve experimented with several approaches. It’s surprising how many different takes on such a seemingly straightforward issue can be found in published literature. I prepared meals in a wide variety of ways, including with and without water, with and without oil, with and without spices, and so on.
Unfortunately, after a month, I started getting deliveries that tasted rotten. I didn’t grow up with a family that always removed lemon slices from their plates politely. They weren’t what I expected them to be, and I had no idea what they were supposed to be.
By the way, there are highways designed specifically for racing. However, I have not tried them and do not plan to. You can think of salted lemons as the wine equivalent. Time is what they’re lacking right now.
Suddenly, I had an epiphany.
Don’t discount my intelligence just because you can’t see it. I forked out two hundred dollars (yeah, I’ve officially joined the ranks of the bourgeois) to learn the ropes of Moroccan cooking from a master instructor in Fes. Furthermore, he taught me how to cultivate lemons as a bonus.
First things first: Aziz hates pink snot spices of any kind. Lemons, salt, end of discussion,” he summed up.
You will need the following “if you are still a spice lover,” but in a non-traditional sense:
Lemons, little (I’m not a snob, but I bought mine from Azbuka Taste)
A couple sticks of cinnamon
To be honest, it depends on the jar whether or not I offer certain quantities. The number of lemons in my jar is 9.
It’s preferable to get lemons that are both tiny and unwaxed. Using a brush, remove any wax that may have accumulated. Put the lemons on their bottoms and make a longitudinal incision through them, stopping short of the pit. Flip it over and cut perpendicular to the previous one you made. Four pieces will be merged into one larger one.
Put the container through a sterilizing process.
If you’re craving a spicy Moroccan tagine, try these ingredients:
Put 1 tablespoon into the jar’s bottom. salt (you can 2). A cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and some peppercorns were added. Take the lemon and add a pinch of salt to it. I used a half teaspoon. I’d say it works for both parties.
Collect it and store it in the jar. Use a lot of pressure. I recommend giving it your all. Now fill the jar up until it is just below the center. Mix equal parts of bay leaf, cinnamon, and pepper. Again, lemons. All the way to the bottom of the jar.
Now, take close attention! To what do I owe the failure of my lemons? I gave it some breathing space, and it skulked about the jar undetected for a whole month.
To put it simply, you can’t proceed in this manner. You can hardly move around in the jar it’s that full.
As a last step, we give it another good press to extract even more salt.
It’s the same meal, but without the bay leaves and cinnamon sticks, in case your loved ones don’t like for such exotic spices.
A month from now, you’ll have access to those very salted lemons.
Tagine of shrimp cooked in a spicy Moroccan sauce with fennel.
5 tbsp. oleic acid
Twenty huge, decapitated shrimp (raw)
Two onions, sliced in half
Ingredients: 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
25 grams of grated fresh ginger
Saffron, by the pinch
Paprika, one to two teaspoons
Tomatoes, canned, 400 grams
You’ll need a small bouquet of coriander and parsley, the leaves of which should be carefully chopped.
1 tsp. sugar
Two cut fennel bulbs
Just add salt and pepper to taste
This is how to do it:
Fry the shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes in 3 tablespoons of oil in the bottom of a tagine. Place them in the tagine and season with onions, garlic, ginger, and saffron. In general, three to four minutes is about right for cooking. Sprinkle in the paprika, tomatoes, and half of the herbs. Mix in the sugar and then the salt and pepper. Braise for 10 minutes on low heat. You should notice a thickening of the sauce.
Meanwhile, boil the fennel for around 5 to 8 minutes. Then, brown it on all sides in the remaining oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
In a tagine, combine the shrimp with the sauce, then layer on the fennel and cover. Cook for another 5 minutes.
However, only in an unglazed Tagine will you be able to fully appreciate the enchantment of the cooking process.
Exactly what dissimilarities exist, if any, are there?
Distinction is simple to articulate. Cooking with an empty can (and should) be easier after soaking it in water. There will be some evaporation. Put the pots and pans outside to cool off and prevent them from becoming too hot to handle. On the inside, it prevents food from drying out.
To compensate for water lost to evaporation, a bowl-shaped recess is inserted at the top of the dome’s handle. Seeing that water progressively seeps out from this depression and down the dome’s walls, more and more must be poured to keep the volume constant. The vent at the side allows the excess steam to escape. The cooking process in a traditional Moroccan tagine is controlled automatically by the pot’s heat and the amount of food added.
Because the bowl, or lower part, heats up faster, water evaporates from it quickly. To prevent the condensation droplets from falling onto the food while it is cooking, it is helpful to have a broad rim on which the dome-lid rests and transform them into steam. They are silent enough to not disturb the ambiance produced by condensation on the dish walls.
Naturally, all these benefits do not apply to glazed tagines. Not much can be said about metal (especially cast-iron ones). No, I prefer using cast-iron cookware. To name a metal container a tagine, however, is to mislead the buying public.
In addition to the traditional Tagine, several Moroccan stews are also delicious.
Some tagines on the market are hybrids, with one side (often the outside) being unglazed in addition to the traditional poured and unpoured varieties. There’s a layer on the inside that prevents liquid from evaporating, so there’s no point in buying them.
Distinctions in preparing various meals.
Does what I’ve said above rule out using glazed tagines for food preparation? The answer is no; of course you can. I’ve used one for years as a kitchen pot. Since the primary source of moisture in these environments is the evaporation of fluids from the items, it is clear that some kind of moisture supplement is necessary.
So either load up on the juicy veggies or… well, add some liquid to the dish. Although the meat may be cooked somewhat differently, the flavor and tenderness will be essentially the same in the end. Once you’ve guessed the right quantity of liquid to add, of course. It’s not stew you’re after, but rather tagine.
Vegetables provide an extra layer of complexity. Onions will be the same. Garlic in the brains won’t be any different. If you serve potatoes on top of other dishes instead of in a bowl, their flavor will change somewhat yet noticeably. However, when it comes to eggplant, that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms.
I don’t know how, but an unglazed tagine transforms even, let’s be honest, not the greatest eggplant into a soft, creamy marvel. Yes, I am aware that there are particularly creamy variants.
And the price is around four times as high as the standard imported ones. Since to Tagin, we were able to save a ton of money because, after trying the pricier, creme-filled kind first, we settled on the cheaper, regular-sized variety, which was just as delicious.
The debate about whether meat should be roasted in a Moroccan tagine.
Most Moroccans like a good roast. Not doing it is something I would rather not have to do. To cook everything perfectly, I recommend piling it all into one dish, placing it over a small fire (with the flare, of course), and waiting. Except for watching the water level in the knob, which is important for cooking lengthy pieces like lamb shanks. However, the meat is delicious and extremely nice after being salted with spices and wonderful vegetable oil.
How should one use a Moroccan tagine?
Anything. It’s merely a plate, an implement. You can eat pork even if you’re not Muslim. If you’d want to prepare a classic dish, one option is to pair lamb with dried fruit; just be sure to avoid buying dried fruit that has been doused in sugar syrup. Try to get the traditional dried fruits; they’re more tastier and more aromatic. Yes, make them seem as awful and shriveled as apricots. It’s OK, just clean them up and use them in your meals. Add some salted lemons if you prefer. They provide a wonderful pop of color to the meal.
If you like potatoes, try cooking it with them. Beef, potatoes, onions, and eggplants included in this dish. To serve, sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
Take care not to let the onions burn to the bottom of the bowl by not placing them there. Onion rings or other vegetables layered in between the layers of meat are preferable.
Having a second Moroccan tagine is preferable for preparing fish. If you just have one dish, you’ll need to be very ruthless when washing it out after the fish.
When figuring out the amount of food to use, what should we do?
Usually meat plus a few pieces of fruit or veggies. Also, you could simply eat veggies. Alternatively, fish. Whatever you want, really. Foods that need a longer period of time in the oven should go lower, while more delicate items should go higher. It’s a pot, really. Just make sure the food doesn’t touch the walls and that the dome is big enough to cover the mountain of it.
Oil. When making Moroccan Tagine with meat, you should only use the oil you used to pre-salt the meat. You shouldn’t add any extra oil. Just cooking the veggies and topping them with a teaspoon of flavored oil is plenty.
To reiterate, since each item in the tagine is cooked separately, in the completed meal each vegetable will have its own taste, with little to no influence from its neighboring veggies. It’s true that even if you stack a mountain high enough (it includes lamb, onions, carrots, pickled lemons, eggplant, and potatoes).
And may I remind you once again There shouldn’t be much, if any, liquid in the tagine. Tagine cooking is more akin to poaching than stewing. Classical poaching, as it was known before the revolution, involves food being cooked in a little amount of oil and its own juice, whereas tagine is similar to both poaching and steaming but uses a considerably lower T medium.
The temperature (T) of steam in a steamer is 100 degrees Celsius, but the temperature (T) of steam in a tagine is not likely to exceed 85 degrees Celsius. That much less above, and about that much less below. Moreover, the moisture and flavor of the food are preserved inside.
How do you manage the dishwashing duties?
Wash the Moroccan tagine with baking soda. Personally, I think it’s best to boil the dishes after washing them. This prevents bacteria from growing in their pores and giving out a bad smell.
Don’t believe the hype of never-washed fairy plates that make every meal taste better than the last. Absorbent substances break down in the pores where they were first deposited. Should you get it?
Avoid the common mistake of using oil to lubricate an unglazed tagine. When I was gone for a month, I made the mistake of oiling it. Moreover, I was doused with a foul-smelling olive oil that was a pain to remove. What you get when you store a tagine that has been washed but not cooked is the same as what you get when you boil it. Validated by the pain of my own experience.
For optimal results, always boil it after each preparation. It’s obviously not the real thing. However, it is trustworthy and useful.
I wrote this essay in the hopes that it would shed light on the Moroccan tagine and encourage readers to experiment with the dish.