Tagine Secrets

by Adrienne Matt on March 25, 2009

in Tips & Tricks

Mohammed and Mamass Khettouch have kindly invited me to learn Berber dishes in Tinghir. They own a restaurant about 3km outside of Tinghir, on the road to the Todra Gorge. I am staying in their home and cooking at the restaurant during the day and sometimes at night. It’s mostly a lunchtime spot, frequented by tour guides and their charges coming to or from the gorge.

I quickly learned that most restaurants in Morocco pre-cook the contents on the tagine in advance. This partly explains why all the vegetables and often the meat are overcooked. Sad, but true.

Fortunately, the onions are cooked with salt, cinnamon, tumeric and powdered sugar and the tomatoes are sliced and cooked with cumin and salt.

Here are a few variations of these assembled tagines:
Beef with prunes with toasted sesame seeds, potato, carrot, onion, tomato
Beef with green beans, potato, carrot, onion, tomato
Chicken with peas, carrots, potato, onion, tomato
Chicken with apricots, carrots, turnips, onion, tomato

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous August 1, 2009 at 11:17 pm

You may think that moroccan restaurants precook their tagine contents…but did you eat a tagine at someone's home? I don't think so, otherwise you would have discovered that tagines are simmered for at least a couple hours, that's how you get the taste, and also what you called an overcooking.

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Chef Adrienne August 3, 2009 at 2:12 pm

The *restaurants* routinely do but, yes, a home-cooked meal is not.

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