Tagine is a clay cooking pot with a conical lid typical from Morocco that also give its name to the stew that is prepared on it.
I have wanted a tagine as long as I can remember. However, when I finally visited Morocco I was living sort of a nomad life and it wasn’t too practical to accumulate house-ware and furnitures, so I didn’t buy it although I had to restrain myself not to came back with carpets, lamps and kitchen-ware to furnish a full house.
But fate is capricious (a saying in Spanish) and last weekend when walking around a home store, I saw one and decided to buy it this time! I’m not sure were I’m going to put it in my already full kitchen cabinets, but after trying the meal I prepared on it I can assure you is totally worth it! The outcome is absolutely different of the one you would get cooking the same recipe in a regular cooking pot (I know because I’ve tried it before).
I started by a vegetable tagine, but I will for sure explore many other options with my new star utensil! Just writing it is making me crave for another one… Let’s go to the recipe now:
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- a dash of olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, pressed
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 1 courgette/zucchini, sliced
- 1/2 aubergine, diced
- 2 tomatoes, cubed
- 2 teaspoons of Ras El Hanout (see the Moroccan Vegan Rice Soup for this spice mix info)
- 2 pinch of saffron
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
- a pinch of ground cinnamon
- Salt and Black pepper to taste
- 2 cups water
- Fresh chopped parsley and coriander to garnish
- 2 measures of couscous (I used one espresso cup per person as a measure for a very generous amount). I used fine grain couscous because I accidentally bought this kind, but it would be better to use medium grain for a more loose texture.
- 4 measures of water; a dash of olive oil and salt for the couscous preparation (in general a one part couscous/2 parts water proportion works pretty well)
Heat the oil at the tagine base over low heat and sauté the garlic and onion until translucent. Add the carrot, zucchini, aubergine and tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper and the rest of spices and stir to mix. Continue by pouring the water, combine, check seasoning, cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. At this point, carefully open the tagine, stir and check that you didn’t run out of liquid, add water if necessary. Cook for an extra 10 minutes.
Meanwhile bring to a boil the water with a dash of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Remove from heat, add the couscous and mix with a fork. Allow to stand for around 2 minutes. Add a dash of olive oil and cook on a very low heat for 3 minutes stirring with a fork to separate the grains. Set aside.
To finish, add the fresh parsley and coriander to the tagine, serve very hot with the couscous on one side and enjoy!