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Thursday, 17 September 2015 12:00 AM

Moroccan Tajine – A Holiday Delight

One of the delights of a holiday in Morocco is the delicious food. Morocco has a distinctly different culture from our own and the food reflects it, blending the Arab and other influences that have been creating Moroccan culture over centuries.

I have written about food in general previously (ingredients and meals, tasty bites and street food) but the ubiquitous food is the tajine (whether the tajine or couscous is the national dish of Morocco is a moot point).

The Tajine

The tajine as every pub bore who has recently come back from Morocco will tell you is the conical shaped cooking pot rather than the food it creates, but that is an unnecessary clarification as the term tajine is the word used for the food that is created.

The tajine pot is a clay dish with conical lid, into which all the necessary ingredients are placed, which is then placed on top of (typically) hot coals for a slow and long cook – ensuring any meats are very tender, rich and moist.

Tajine pots can be found in every souk (Moroccan market) in every city and town, but recreating that cooking process at home never seems to be as authentic, so any and every recipe you see (and every chef in the UK seems to have covered this dish) uses a casserole dish rather than a tajine (dish) to produce an equally tasty but perhaps subtly different version.

Moroccan Tajine

Tajines can be seen being cooked everywhere – on street stalls in small market towns in the middle of the High Atlas through to some of the smartest restaurants in Morocco serving Moroccan food.

What they contain varies enormously (there is a lovely little restaurant near the train station in Rabat that serves around 20 variations) but the classic options are lamb with almonds and dates or raisins, meatballs with tomatoes (and perhaps eggs, an excellent but very rare breakfast) or chicken with preserved lemons. Other less common dishes are purely vegetarian versions or those with fish or other meats.

Combined with heavy seasoning that may include paprika, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and ras el hanout (Moroccan locally mixed spices) the results can be stunning, but for younger children the flavours are generally not overpowering.

The tajine is only one of many foods that you can have the chance of tasting whilst on your holiday in Morocco, and there are plenty of others – Morocco is excellent for its food and known as some of the best cuisine in the world.

Talk to our experts at Naturally Morocco to find out more and get your perfect holiday.