If you love exotic dishes, the tajine recipe (sometimes also called tagine) is one of the African dishes you will find fascinating. Tajine is a significant part of the exotic and delicious Moroccan cuisine and has been for centuries. The word tajine has two meanings. One refers to the dish and the other to the North African cookware traditionally made of ceramic or clay. The bottom of the tagine cookware is broad and circular and doubles as the cooking pot and serving tray. The top of the tajine is a distinctive cone or dome shape.
Tajine, the dish, is a rich stew from North Africa. It consists of succulent poultry, meat, or fish with vegetables and sometimes fruits. The tajine could also be a standalone vegetable dish minus the meats. This dish is wildly popular as a delicacy and for its highly nutritious value.
The origin of the Tajine dates back to the rule of Harun al Rashad in the 18th century. The use of ceramic is thought to be the influence of Romans who might have brought their traditions during their reign in Africa. The first mention of the tajine recipes appeared in the 9th century in the famous book, A Thousand and One Nights.
What is Tajine Served with?
Traditionally, tajine is served to be eaten communally by several people, and it is served direct from the tajine, with no need for plates. Tajine is served with Moroccan bread, which is used to scoop up the meats and vegetables. Traditionally, you do not use a knife or fork to eat tagine, rather, your hands.
Tajine is equally delicious when served over couscous, wedges of lime, and Greek yogurt. However, there is a heated debate on whether you should serve the tajine with anything else. However, it mostly boils down to preference. The Moroccans eat it with bread or khobz, which has a thick crust. Khobz is made using different types of flour. For instance, khobz dyal zraa has wheat flour while khobz dyal smida contains semolina flour.
What is the Benefit of Cooking in a Tajine?
The benefit of cooking tajine in a tajine is that it seals all the flavors from the different ingredients. During cooking, moisture from the meats and vegetables goes up the sides of the conical lid. Instead of evaporating, it goes back into the pot, enhancing the flavors.
Tajine is cooked with tough cuts of meat, which are more flavorful, especially when cooked over a long time in the tajine. The equivalent of a tajine in the western world is the slow cooker, which cooks equally well but lacks the earthy taste of a clay tajine.
Which is Better, a Glazed or Unglazed Tajine?
The best tajines are made of raw clay while glazed tajines are easier to clean and ready for cooking. To use an unglazed tajine, you need to season it before cooking to strengthen the clay and remove the raw taste of clay.
Once you properly season your unglazed tajine, your tajine stew will have a delicious earthy taste. The tajine is seasoned by soaking it in water for two hours or overnight. After removing it from the water, coat the bottom part and where the conical lid sits with olive oil.
Put warm water inside the tagine and leave it for another 24 hours. Empty the water and air dry it, then fill the bottom part with salty water. Place the tajine in a cool oven, then heat it to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave it there for an hour, then turn off the oven and let it cool inside the oven. Once cool, coat it again with olive oil. Your tajine is now ready to use.
What Vegetables Go into a Tajine?
Some of the vegetables that go into a tajine recipe include:
- – Potatoes
- – Tomatoes
- – Onions
- – String beans
- – Artichokes
- – Cucumber
- – Peas
- – Spinach
- – Carrots
- – Squash, etc.
You may not find some vegetables that are unique to Morocco, such as:
- – Slaouia, which is from the gourd family. Use zucchini or yellow crookneck squash as an alternative.
- – Mallow leaves (Bakula or khoubiza) are edible leaves from wild plants and substituted with spinach, kales, or turnip greens.
- – Aubergine is a berry but used in tajine as a vegetable and is also known as an eggplant.
How Many Varieties of Tajin are there?
There are different types of tajines, although the traditional Moroccan tajine is made from clay. Here are some of the tagine cookware variations.
These aluminum tajines are primarily used in Morocco by people who carry packed lunches to work. They are light and portable but are not suitable for slow-cooking large and tougher chunks of meat. The aluminum tajines are best for meatballs or fish that cook fast.
#2. Cast Iron
A cast-iron tajine is an excellent alternative as they do not carry the risk of cracking or breaking like clay tajines. They cook exceptionally well on high heat and can be used in the oven as well. While cast iron is durable and more versatile, it is also costlier than the other options.
10 Game-Changing Tajine Recipes
#1. Easy Moroccan Vegetable Tagine Recipe By The Mediterranean Dish
A simple vegetable tagine recipe packed with warm Moroccan flavors. One of my new favorite one-pot meals. Vegan and Gluten free!
Think of Moroccan tagine as a succulent, slowly simmered stew. Similar to this Moroccan Lamb Stew, the balance of sweet and savory flavors, coupled with the intensity of spices set this vegetable tagine apart from your average stew.
This easy Moroccan vegetable tagine begins with a few humble ingredients, you probably already have potatoes, carrots, onions, and garlic.
A heaping portion of chopped dried apricots is what provides the subtle sweetness in this hearty vegetable tagine. And to balance it off, tangy tomatoes, and a splash of lemon juice
#2. Moroccan Beef Tajine By From The Grape Vine
A comforting stew to help you warm up on those cold days. A spicy Mediterranean stew is the sort of warming, comforting dish that you want when you look out the window and it’s all snow whirling out there. Tajine is welcome in any weather.
For me, beef has to be very well seasoned. In addition, there have to be at least three vegetables in the pot. North African tajines, those long-cooking, rich stews simmered in a clay platter with a conical top, are ideal then. Lacking the traditional tajine setup, you can cook this stew in a large pot set over low heat, and it will be delicious.
#3. Moroccan Chicken Tagine With Potatoes and Carrots By The Spruce Eats
Try this basic recipe for Moroccan chicken tagine with potatoes and carrots when you need a delicious family meal or an impressive presentation in a tagine (clay or glazed) for guests.
Traditional tagine cooking involves slow cooking over low heat in a Moroccan tagine. Chicken dishes like this one typically take up to two hours to cook but are definitely worth the wait.
#4. Traditional Moroccan Tagine Recipe By Travel Food Atlas
Moroccan Tagine is a classic North African dish that uses dried fruits, vegetables, preserved foods, and meat, in combination with aromatic spices.
Morocco is distinguished by its European, Arabian, and Berber influences, and hence, its cuisines can be seen made using its techniques and flavors.
The best part is that you can prepare it as a vegetarian dish as well. The term ‘tagine’ is the name of the cooking vessel used for making the dish – traditionally, a clay pot is used.
We know that you are eager to know about how this delicious cuisine is prepared. This is the reason why we have come up with the traditional Moroccan Tagine recipe.
This recipe of the traditional Moroccan Tagine will both delight and impress your gastronomic senses.
#5. Moroccan Lamb Tagine with Apricots By Ethnic Spoon
For those who are not familiar with the term, a tagine is a two-part clay cooking vessel common throughout North Africa. The bottom part is a shallow bowl, and the top is a tapered rounded cone-like piece topped by a knob which in turn is vented at the top. The clay allows for slow cooking which infuses the food with fabulous flavors. There are various styles, from simple solid colors to beautifully embellished models.
A few years ago, at the university where I work, we had a Moroccan Fullbright student who taught my husband and me how to make a chicken tagine. I was mesmerized by the cooking process. The results: a delightful flavor and aroma in my kitchen, and very tender meat. Try this traditional lamb tagine with apricots
#6. Lamb Tagine with Mushrooms and Olives By The Delicious Crescent
Lamb Tagine with Mushrooms and Olives is a delicious Moroccan style recipe with succulent lamb stewed in earthenware. It is rich in flavor, high protein and potassium, low carb and calories, healthy fats, good fiber!!
During a visit to Morocco, I got fascinated by earthenware known as Tagine, that had a circular rimmed base and a dome shaped cover. The stews prepared in this pot are also referred to as a "Tagine".
Now, if you want to cook some tagine in a Moroccan earthenware, then try it with this healthy lamb tagine. Or you may still enjoy it with your same old cooking pot!
#7. Gorgeous Chickpea Tagine Recipe with Moroccan Spices By Uno Casa
North African cooking is often done in a tagine due to its unique ability to maintain moisture, allowing a slow cook until the food is tender and moist.
It was often used by nomadic tribes as it could be easily carried with them and used to cook anywhere a fire could be built. The tagine doubles as a serving dish if you carry it straight to the tableside.
The structure of the tagine is ideal in that it allows the food to cook at the wide, round base, while the steam rises into the cone-shaped top to condense, and fall back into the dish to maintain moisture.
You can also use a tagine to cook rice, beans, Moroccan chickpeas, or couscous. If you remove the lid and cook with just the base, moisture will be released which can work well for roasting meat, or vegetables.
Don't be afraid of the tagine - it's quite easy once you know the basics of cooking in this classic dish. We hope you enjoy trying out this flavorful North African recipe full of spice and veggies!
#8. Moroccan Fish Tagine Recipe with Chermoula and Vegetables By Taste Of Maroc
A classic Moroccan tagine of chermoula-marinated fish and veggies. Preserved lemon, olives, and Moroccan spices add additional flavor.
In Morocco, we make this tagine with meagre, sea bass, sea bream, or any other firm, thick fish. You can also use whole sardines, whole whiting, or conger eel. The latter can be fatty but offers the advantage of having relatively few bones to contend with at the table.
This recipe for Moroccan Fish Tagine with Chermoula and Vegetables is one of the most popular ways to prepare fresh fish in Morocco. First the fish is marinated in a zesty herb and spice mixture called chermoula, then it’s layered with potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, and green peppers in a tagine for slow braising. Traditionally tagines are cooked over a fire or charcoal in a special brazier, but these days it’s more common to see home cooks using a stove instead.
#9. Eggplant Tagine: A Moroccan-inspired Recipe By Uno Casa
Mmmmm! Moroccan eggplant tagine! We love a slow-cooked, simmered stew, and with the right spices and ingredients, you can cook up this sumptuous delicacy, totally meat-free.
Eggplants, chickpeas, onions, tomatoes, and apricots (and a few Moroccan-style spices) are all you need for our hearty and filling, vegetarian tagine. Serve with couscous and yogurt for added authenticity!
With a tagine pot, you can recreate the delightful flavors and aromas of North Africa, without ever having to leave your own kitchen. Here's our sumptuous, slow-cooked, Morrocan-inspired eggplant tagine recipe!
Once you've prepared all of those tasty ingredients, all it takes is time to simmer sumptuously in its own juices, for the perfect North African tagine.
#10. Lamb and Chickpea Tagine By JoCooks
This Moroccan inspired Lamb and Chickpea Tagine is a delight. It’s the perfect one pot dinner for a comforting and delicious meal with melt-in-your-mouth lamb, chickpeas and golden raisins.
This is a beautiful, Moroccan-inspired dish brimming with rich and complex flavor. It’s easy to assume that when we cook dishes we might not be familiar with, that they will be harder, take longer, and result in more of a mess than say a casserole. But that doesn’t have to be the case, not when you have the help of a tagine style one-pot meal!
This North African delicacy is a well-loved recipe dating back hundreds of years. The original recipe has been passed down to families in Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, and other North African countries. Since some indigenous vegetables are not readily available, you can substitute them with what is locally available to get an equally succulent dish.
The recipe is best cooked with clay tajine cookware which brings out the flavors of the different vegetables and meats, coupled with the earthy taste of the clay pot. Remember to season your tajine cookware to make it last longer and remove the raw clay taste. You can substitute the clay tajine with a cast-iron one, but be prepared to pay more, and, the taste is frankly not the same. Bon Appetit!
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