Tagine

Tagine is the most iconic of all Moroccan dishes, so much so that it would be difficult not to try it.

Tagine

  From sidewalk food vendors to upmarket restaurants, it features on menus all over the country. Tagine is essentially a stew that originates with the Berber people of North Africa. It is named after the special painted clay pot in which it is cooked, the tajine. The tajine has two halves - a wide, circular base and a cone-shaped lid that traps steam and returns moisture to the stew. This unique cooking method means that tagine requires very little water - a major advantage in arid Morocco.

Most tagine recipes include meat and vegetables cooked slowly over a low heat to achieve maximum tenderness and flavor. Spices are a key element of the cooking process, with cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, cumin, and saffron being the most popular. Some recipes also call for dried fruit or nuts. There are many different varieties of tagine. Perhaps the most common are chicken and vegetable, or kefta tagine. The latter involves meatballs cooked with spices and topped with fried egg. For a truly decadent meal, try lamb tagine made with almonds, prunes, plums or figs. Many restaurants also offer vegetarian versions.

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