Morocco is one of the African countries that is known for its unique and fine cuisine. History has it that Moroccan cuisine is a blend of Arabic, Mediterranean, Indian, and Andalusia with a slight influence of Sub-Saharan and European culture. Most of the foods have an intense aroma that are satisfying to the taste buds and that literally invigorate eating moods.
You will be dazzled to know that most dishes are prepared in a Tagine. Before we take you through our Moroccan vegetable Tagine stew, get to know more about this cooking vessel.
What is a Tagine?
A Tagine is a cone-shaped vessel which features unglazed clay or ceramic materials.
While you may use any available option, you will not get the same results as when you use unglazed Clay Tagine. When seasoned properly, unglazed clay Tagine brings out an intense earthy flavor to your food. And if you have never used this fantastic cooking vessel, you may be wondering how it feels like cooking with a Tagine.
What to expect when cooking with a Tagine
Cooking with a Tagine is different from using a conventional pot. Regardless of the type you opt for; you have to season it before using it. Both ceramic and unglazed clay Tagines are not designed to withstand high temperatures. So in case you opt to use an electric stove or cooktop, be sure to use a diffuser. Exposing it to extreme temperatures will crack it. One essential ingredient when cooking with a Tagine is `patience.` Aside from serving as a cooking vessel, a tagine can also be used as a serving dish.
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Now that you know what is needed of you when cooking with a Tagine, let’s have a look at how to season it.
How to season a Tagine- a step by step guide
- Soak your lid and pot in a large basin with water and leave it for 6 hours or overnight. If your Tagine is too big to fit in a basin, you can put it in a sink and fill it with water.
- Empty the water and dry your Tagine. Rub three tablespoons of olive oil on the interior of the lid and base.
- Place the lid upside down and your Tagine base on a cold oven and bake it for two hours under 1500 C/ 3000 F.
- Turn off the heat and leave it inside to cool down completely.
- Repeat this process after six months if you have not been using your Tagine
Note: Season your Tagine a day before so it gets enough time to cool down
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Now, let me show you how to prepare your Moroccan vegetable Tagine stew.
- Six carrots (peeled and sliced longitudinally)
- Four Zucchini (sliced thickly longitudinally)
- Two medium onions(sliced in a ring shape)
- Three tomatoes (sliced in thick pieces)
- Four large potatoes (peeled and sliced into ¼” pieces)
- Olive oil 200ml
- One tbsp. turmeric powder
- Half tbsp. pepper
- One bunch cilantro or Parsley
- Water one cup
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- Clean all your vegetables and place them in a clean bowl.
- Reduce them into desirable sizes as indicated on the recipe.
- Put your potatoes, carrots, and zucchini in a large bowl. Add your turmeric, salt, pepper and toss them for the seasoning to coat the vegetables evenly.
- Put half of your oil in your Tagine. Add your sliced onions, followed by your tomatoes.
- Arrange your vegetables on top of your tomatoes in a conical shape in this order (carrots, potatoes, and Zucchini).
- Sprinkle the remaining oil on your vegetables. Pour a cup full of water in the bowl where you had mixed your veggies to rinse any spices that may have been left. Swirl slowly then pour the water in your Tagine.
- Place your diffuser on your burner and put your Tagine. Turn your burner heat to medium-low and leave it for 20 minutes.
- When your vegetable start stewing, reduce the heat to the lowest temperature possible. Leave your Tagine to continue boiling for one hour and forty minutes uninterrupted.
- Remove the cover and check if the vegetables are tender. If tender, drain any unwanted liquid, turn off the burner and garnish it with cilantro
- Serve your dish while still warm. You can enjoy it alone or with rice, bread or chapatti.
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