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Tagines

Speciality Dish - Morocco

 

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Tagines, (Tajines)  is the name given to both the cooking vessels and of the recipes themselves.

 

Tagine (tajine) - The Vessel 

 

Traditionally used by nomads as portable ovens over charcoal braziers, a tagine is made from glazed earthenware with a conical lid. The base is both a cooking and serving dish. It is very heavy to withstand constant use, and to hold the heat longer. The cone shaped cover acts like an oven and the entire lid is totally sealed to retain heat and moisture, which not only prevents it from drying out during the long cooking process, but also allows the slow infusion of flavors throughout the dish. The lid has an extended knob at the top which is designed to remain cooler and thereby act as a handle.

 

The low, indirect heat produces a rich, aromatic flavour as the food slowly simmers for several hours. Most tagines purchased nowadays can be used either in the oven or on top of the stove. The food is cooked in and served from the tagine, but remember to protect your table from heat from the base, when it comes off the stove or out of the oven.

 

Of course, tagines can be cooked in more conventional cookware such as casseroles, however, to add an aura of authenticity you can serve the cooked stew from a decorated tagine which is a beautiful serving dish in itself.

 

Tagines - The Recipes

 

Basically, tagines are a sort of stew, which are usually a mixture of vegetables, poultry or lamb*,   often with the addition of fruit. They have a thick rich spicy sauce which is thickened due to the long cooking process and are generally served with bread, couscous or rice. 

 

Originally, they would be cooked for many hours, however with modern cookers, a good result can be achieved in as little as 1-1/2 hours for poultry and meats and a lot less for vegetables, but bear in mind, the longer you cook them, the more developed the flavours. 

 

The fruits are usually added in dried form and contribute a subtle sweetness to the overall flavour. Often tagines contain preserved or salted lemons, which give the dish a unique flavour which cannot be duplicated by using fresh lemons.

 

 

Tagine recipes

Vegetable Tagine       Veg  Vegan  HT  MC  Moroccan  50mins

Lentil Tagine      Veg Vegan  HT  MC  Moroccan  75mins

Chicken and Date Tagine      HT  MC  Moroccan  130mins

Chicken and Prune Tagine      HT  MC  Moroccan  140mins

Lamb and Apricot Tagine       HT  MC  Moroccan  170mins

Lamb Shank Tagine        HT  MC  Moroccan  180mins

* Beef can also be used but it is not a traditional meat served in Morocco.

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