How to Cook a Tajine

I posted this earlier on my vlog.  I usually try not to post the same thing in both places, but this one in particular has been a long time coming, and I think it merits being posted twice.  Enjoy!

I am certainly no Julia Child (thank goodness) or a Moroccan mother of eight (again, l-hamdulilah), but for some time now, I’ve wanted to show off how to cook a Moroccan Tajine, a dish incredibly famous and well-known in this country.  My friend Abdelcreme who lives on the other side of town showed me how to cook it, and next week, inshallah, I will show him how to cook spaghetti.  I should say, as a bit of a disclaimer, that I don’t pretend to be an expert on this.  I’m sure my way of throwing this recipe together is shameful, as every tajine I’ve ever eaten in this country certainly puts mine to shame.  But I was experimenting a bit with spices and thought it tasted delicious, so I can’t complain all that much either.

Tajines are both dishes themselves and the food in them.  There are many kinds of tajines, ranging from an omelet-like dish with tomatoes and onions to the one I prepare to a “kefta” (ground meat) tajine.  The dish is cone-shaped and fashioned in either clay or metal.  It’s function appears to pre-date the advent of the crockpot.  Imagine cooking your food in a crockpot that’s beautiful where you can eat right off the plate of the crockpot, and that’s pretty much a tajine.

As for this video, I had to keep it short so it didn’t take me forever to upload it to the internet.  That said, I took the liberty of cutting the veggies beforehand, even placing the onions in the bottom of the tajine before filming.  Sorry you missed a few steps, but you didn’t miss much.  All together, this is a dish that took me almost two hours to prepare between purchasing the food, washing and cutting the produce, mixing the oil and spices, laying it out on the tajine for filming, and then the forty or so minutes it took to cook (probably would’ve taken longer if I’d put it on low heat, as I should have).

I should apologize, too, because it was difficult to hold the camera while placing veggies on the tajine, and there are a few places where I just got wordy and couldn’t think through what I was trying to say.

Other than that, the pictures I’ve provided you with don’t really do the dish justice but a couple of them are nice.  If you want to make a tajine, I’ve heard rumors that you can buy metal ones at CostCo in America.  Try looking around at international markets, too.  You might get lucky.

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