Tagines are hundreds of years old. (Photo: Ilana Strauss)

How to cook with a tagine

This Moroccan delicacy is actually incredibly easy to make.

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After coming to Morocco, I noticed that everybody was using alien-looking brown pots to cook. I ordered one of these dishes, and when I lifted off the top, a gust of delicious-smelling steam billowed out, leaving what turned out to be a ridiculously thick, tasty stew underneath.

This brown pot is called a tagine, and the meals you cook with them are also often called tagines. And tagines are awesome. They’re really easy to make, they infuse everything with the flavor of everything else in the tagine and they look luxurious.

So get yourself a tagine. I’d normally write out a recipe with very specific measurements and what not, but for a tagine, all that doesn’t matter so much. You can use any kind of veggies/meats/whatever else you want. I put beets and an egg in mine, and no tagine police showed up. Not yet, anyway.

Tagine Recipe

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Prep15 mins
Cook Time45 mins

Ingredients

  • Oil
  • Spices
  • Whatever you want

Instructions

  • Coat the bottom of the tagine with oil. Vegetable oil works well, but any kind of oil that can deal with heat should be fine.
  • Pick out whatever raw ingredients you want. Veggies always work pretty well. If you want to be traditional, definitely pick up some potatoes. If you want to experiment, you can even throw in some fruit. I strongly recommend adding tomatoes – their juices seep into everything in a tasty way.
  • Cut your veggies and such into bite-sized pieces.
  • Throw your raw ingredients in the tagine. Pour in a little water and oil. Then put the cover on and put the tagine over low heat.
  • Let everything cook for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Cook until the mixture ends up like stew. Then, flavor it. Experiment with different spices, oils, salts, sugars, vinegars…
  • That's it! Oh, and don't go near your tagine with a fork. Instead, use pieces of flatbread to pick up the food with your hands. Bon appetit!
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