A Tajine is a dish named after the pot it's cooked in. Simple, perhaps.
Alice is a Danish friend in Kopenhavn. She bought the tajine (left) in Morocco a few weeks ago and starting working on it immediately (right).
The dish is of glazed earthenware, has two pieces, attractively decorated. It cooks and works nicely as a serving dish. It is placed over embers to cook very slowly. In a modern kitchen, a diffuser needs to be used between the dish and the hotplate, to moderate the temperature and also to risk not cracking the dish. Modern ones are made with a heavy cast iron bottom with the funnel top of earthenware.
A modern tajine - not as romantic but might be easier, cast-iron base and ceramic lid.
Tajines are stews or casseroles or ragouts, whatever. They are mixtures of meat, lamb, chicken or fish with vegetables. They are sometimes just vegetables. They often incorporate fruit, dried or fresh, nuts and honey. The aim can be for a sweet sour balance but they are always aromatic with saffron and or a spice mix, ras el hanout, more often than not (see below).
Popular, traditional or classic combinations might be...
They are beautifully aromatic, sometimes spicy hot, sometimes not. You get the idea.
A Tajine is not a Couscous. You eat a Tajine with bread on the side, not couscous. You eat couscous with a Couscous (see post 20th Oct. 2017).
Would you like to cook a Tajine? Can you prepare a Tagine without a tajine? Do you need a tajine?
So first, get going with some preserved lemons and some ras el hanout.
(I've made the assumption that you know how to get a stew going. For a Tajine, start with lots of onion, two at least for a serve of 4 and go from there. If you'd like a real recipe, just contact me. I'm happy to oblige.)
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