Again and again we are asked in the Bazar Manufaktur how a Moroccan tagine is actually used and what you can do with it. Right at the start: using a tagine works in any kitchen and can intensify the aroma and flavor of your dishes.
In this article I will explain to you what you have to consider when using a tagine. At the end there is a simple and delicious tagine recipe to cook at home.
Tagine, what is that exactly?
Tajine is a traditional Moroccan cookware, mainly used to stew meat and vegetables. It consists of two parts - a flat base and a conical lid that cooks the food slowly and gently and allows the steam to circulate inside. The tajine is the traditional cooking utensil of the nomads of North Africa . Thousands of years ago, the Berbers used clay pots to stew their food.
How do you use a tagine?
The tajine can be used on various types of stoves , including ceramic, gas, oven or grill stoves and on open fires. Thanks to the flat base, the heat is distributed evenly and ideally. However, if you use an induction cooker, you have to look for special models that are suitable for it. A tajine that you brought back from a vacation in Morocco will most likely not work here.
- Choose the right ingredients: Tagine dishes usually consist of meat, vegetables, spices, olives and lemons, fresh herbs such as parsley and coriander. It's important to choose ingredients that work well together and complement the flavors.
- Preparation: Cut all the ingredients into cubes or slices and arrange them on the bottom of the tagine. Onions go all the way down. Add condiments and liquids, such as olive oil, water, broth, or tomato sauce.
- Cooking: Place the conical lid on the tagine and set it on a low flame. Let the food simmer slowly until the meat is tender and the vegetables are soft. The lid should not be removed during the entire cooking process to keep the steam inside.
Which tagine is best?
For cooking with a tagine, we recommend using an unglazed version , as the glazed models often contain heavy metals such as lead in the glaze and the glaze splinteres easily. In addition, the characteristic taste of cooking in a clay pot is lost due to the glaze. However, glazed tajines work well as a serving dish . There are now also hybrid models that are brightly painted on the outside but remain natural on the inside.
What do I do before first use?
Before cooking, the tagine should be soaked well with the lid. When using for the first time, the clay pot should be placed in a sink filled with cold water for about 2 hours . Then you should rub the tajine with a little olive oil and heat it up well so that it is sealed and a patina forms. After the first use, it is sufficient to soak the tagine for 10 minutes .
Braising and roasting with your tagine
When cooking with the tagine, you should make sure that it is heated slowly , otherwise it can break.
Ingredients such as meat, potatoes or onions can be sautéed over high heat at the beginning, similar to a frying pan. Then you turn the heat down and add ingredients with shorter cooking times like tomatoes or other vegetables. The heat is highest in the middle of the tagine , so meat and potatoes or hard vegetables are placed in the middle and softer ingredients, such as sliced tomatoes, are layered underneath and around it. As soon as you put the lid on the tagine, you put some water in the small depression on the lid - the so-called vapor barrier . Depending on the ingredients and heat, the cooking time in the tagine is 30 minutes to several hours, you can always check.
To clean the tajine, you shouldn't wash it with washing-up liquid, just clean it with water and a little lemon juice or vinegar. Stubborn burned-in residues can be burned out in the oven.
And as promised, here comes a delicious vegetarian recipe:
Potato tagine with olives and lemon
- 6 large potatoes
- 3 carrots
- 1 large zucchini
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp Sharmula
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 1/2 cup pitted olives
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Fresh parsley and cilantro
- Cover the bottom of the tagine with the chopped onions and cut the potatoes, carrots and zucchini into long finger-thick strips. Arrange the vegetables in your tagine.
- Mix the Scharmula spice mix , salt and olive oil and chopped garlic cloves in a bowl and spread over the vegetables.
- Place the lemon slices, chopped herbs, and olives on top of the veggies and pour a small cup of water over the tagine, covering the bottom.
- Put the lid on the tagine and set it on a low flame. The dish takes about 60 minutes to cook.