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Tagine cooking

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posted on Oct, 16 2017 @ 09:43 PM
Being a mountain man (sort of), who's traveled the world in a previous life, I love all sorts of cooking and foods. One of my favorite vessels to cook in is a Dutch Oven. It's hard to imagine something which tastes better after being outside all day in the high country than a wonderful meal cooked in a Dutch Oven over a fire in camp, but this isn't about Dutch Ovens, but rather a different cooking vessel, the Tagine.

When I was working overseas and traveling extensively I had occasion to travel through North Africa and experience some of their cuisine. It's very different and quite fabulous. North African cuisine is rich with spices and ingredients not often used in western cooking. What makes it all the better is the "pot" they cook it in, it is known as a "tagine". Most tagines are earthen pots with a conical lid which keeps all the juices inside. It's hard to even describe how good food is which is cooked in a tagine. Traditional tagines out in the remote areas (where I was) are cooked inside earthen ovens with scraps of wood (wood is sparse in the desert). Squashes, and meats like chevron and lamb, and chicken of course. Spices such as cinnamons, tumeric, corriander and many other spices most rarely taste are used, as are dried fruits like apricots, dates, raisins and nuts. Natural oils like olive oil and coconut are used. One of the prized accompaniments is hand-made couscous. (also made in a tagine).

Authentic North African tagines don't work very well in most western kitchens with gas or electric stoves, but there are some you can get which will. Le Creuset makes one (there are others, but this is the one we have). These are made with cast iron bottoms so they don't crack with the intense direct heat from a stove. The top is ceramic.

Some think any old dutch oven will do (and they will in a pinch), but if you want to taste the real-deal you need an actual tagine. They have this unique design which allows the condensation to rise, then cool, then come back into the dish. It's fabulous.

For dinner tonight I made a Chicken raisin tagine dish with pistachio nuts. It was off the hook! I highly recommend this style of cooking, and further recommend looking into the history behind it.

For those interested the recipe is basically as follows:


6 chicken legs or 6 thighs and 6 drumsticks
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp minced ginger
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup pistachios
2 tbsp golden raisins (use 1/4 cup if not watching carbs)
2 tbsp dark raisins (use 1/4 cup if not watching carbs)


Melt butter in a large saute pan or dutch oven over medium high heat.
Pat chicken legs dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. When pan is hot, add chicken, skin-side down and cook without moving 5 minutes, until skin is crispy brown. Turn chicken over and cook another 4 minutes.
Transfer chicken to a platter and tent with foil. Add onion, garlic and ginger to pan and cook until onion is translucent, scraping up browned bits, about 5 minutes.
Add cumin, cinnamon, coriander, turmeric, salt and pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth and stir to combine.
Add chicken back into pan and sprinkle with raisins and pistachios. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

by Carolyn
Recipe Notes

Serves 6 to 8. For 6 servings, each serving has 8.3 g of carbs. For 8 servings, each serving has 6.3g of carbs.


ENJOY!!! (you really will!!)

ETA...OOPS!! I actually posted the wrong recipe and link initially. It has been corrected now. sorry bout that.

ETA II...Also, this recipe is gluten free and low carb even!

edit on 10/16/2017 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 16 2017 @ 10:44 PM
Nice thread.

Here is a recipe from the book

Mediterranean clay pot recipes by Paula Wolfert

Here is a nice recipe.

Moroccan Chicken Kdra with almonds and chickpeas.

Here’s an updated version of one of the most famous kdra dishes, a style of cooking that features the preserved butter of Morocco called smen as well as pepper and safron. The name also indicates the poultry or meat is cooked in a creamy sauce.
In this recipe, the accompanying soft, fresh green almonds and peeled chickpeas are included to make a sensational velvety textured, aromatic chicken stew that is eaten with at bread.

Preferred Clay Pots:
A bean pot for cooking the chickpeas (optional)

A 10- to 12-inch glazed earthenware or flameware shallow casserole with a tight-fitting lid

If using an electric or ceramic stovetop, be sure to use a heat diffuser with the clay pots.

1⁄2 cup dried chickpeas

Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper

6 large chicken thighs (21⁄2 to 3 pounds), preferably organic

1⁄4 teaspoon ground turmeric 1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger Pinch of safron threads

2 cups peeled green almonds (see Note) or 1 cup blanched whole almonds, boiled in water for about 2 hours until so

2 tablespoons smen (see page 295) or unsalted bu er

1 3-inch Ceylon cinnamon stick

2 large yellow onions, 1 grated and 1 quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced

1⁄4 cup chopped fresh at-leaf parsley 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl with enough water to cover by 3 inches. Measure the water as you add it; then add 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt for each cup of water. Soak overnight.

2. The next day, drain and rinse the chickpeas and place in a bean pot or a use a conventional 3-quart saucepan. Add fresh water to cover and boil for 10 minutes. Drain and submerge the chickpeas in a bowl of cold water. Rub them between your palms or ngers to remove their skins. Return the chickpeas to the bean pot or saucepan, cover again with fresh water, and simmer until tender, about 1 hour.

3. Meanwhile, in the casserole, combine the chicken thighs, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon white pepper, turmeric, ginger, safron, almonds, and smen. Gently crush the cinnamon stick between two fingers to release its aroma and add to the casserole. Set over medium-low heat and warm the spices with the chicken, turning the thighs occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes. Add the grated onion and 1⁄2 cup water. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.

4. Drain the chickpeas, reserving 1⁄2 cup of their cooking liquid. Add the chickpeas and reserved liquid to the casserole along with the sliced onion and parsley. Cover and cook until the chicken is very tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

5. Remove the chicken and set aside. Raise the heat to medium and bring the sauce to a boil; cook until thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, and season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Return the chicken to the casserole and reheat, basting with the sauce.

Note to the Cook: Fuzzy green almonds are available in June from some Middle Eastern grocers or from To prepare green almonds, score each with a knife, break open the outer shell, and remove the sac. Soak the sacs in a mixture of salted water and milk to rm up for about 1 hour.

Here is a cool little read about the tagine vessel.

The very word tagine has reached folkloric status. People are charmed by both the promise of a complexly flavored dish and the visually seductive image of the cooking pot of the same name: a combination of low-rimmed, concave, and platelike bottom and conical top. is two-part vessel was devised to condense steam back into moisture, enhancing the slow-cooked stewing effect while maximizing cooking efficiency. At the same time, it provides a charming and attractive vessel in which to serve the dish when done.

Tagine pots are versatile, and I recommend that you can acquire one, but you can still prepare all the following dishes by improvising with another clay pot to encourage slow, steady cooking and provide that coveted earthy taste. A Spanish cazuela with a crumbled sheet of wet parchment set atop will serve you well. e parchment will recirculate the steam, creating the almost mystical quality of succulent flesh and unctuous sauce that is the essence of the tagine cooking style.

posted on Oct, 17 2017 @ 06:03 AM
And a little more on the tagine (or 'tajine' as it is alternately called)...

Moroccan and Algerian tajine dishes are slow-cooked savory stews, typically made with sliced meat, poultry or fish together with vegetables or fruit.[12] Spices, nuts, and dried fruits are also used. Common spices include ginger, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and saffron. Paprika and chili are used in vegetable tajines. The sweet and sour combination is common in tajine dishes like lamb with dates and spices. Tajines are generally served with bread. Because the domed or cone-shaped lid of the tajine pot traps steam and returns the condensed liquid to the pot, a minimal amount of water is needed to cook meats and vegetables. This method of cooking is practical in areas where water supplies are limited or where public water is not yet available.

From Wikipedia

posted on Oct, 17 2017 @ 06:31 AM
We are going to be doing tagine dishes all this week courtesy of yours truly. Last night was the chicken raisin (recipe above). Tonight will be lamb tagine with red pepper, flaked almonds, tomato and saffron (along with numerous other spices). Then, for the balance of the week...

Wed - Lemon Coriander Zucchini Chicken and Sweet Potato
Thu - Beef Tagine with Beef & Cauliflower
Fri - Moroccan Egg Tagine (this is a spectacular twist on a regular egg dish...and for dinner too).

I can provide the recipes for anyone who would like them. They are all fantastic.

One of the other interesting things about cooking from this region is the spices. One of the great things is you get to use up all those spices you bought when you just needed a pinch for some dish and then it's just sat in your spice rack ever since. Like the many varied "curries" of India, North African cooking also has a similar spice combination called "Ras El Hanout". Like curry, no two are the same and many are family recipes handed down for centuries. They do share some common ingredients though. Commonly used ingredients include cardamom, cumin, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, allspice, dry ginger, chili peppers, coriander seed, peppercorn, sweet and hot paprika, fenugreek, and dry turmeric.

Ras el hanout is a good mixture to use if you're in a hurry, but for most all of my dishes I'll make up the spices from scratch. We do have our own Ras el hanout mixture though which is really good. We use cumin among other things in ours, and drop the nutmeg, clove and allspice back several notches.

Anyway, it's a very interesting cooking style with some delicious flavors you don't often taste in the western world.

posted on Oct, 17 2017 @ 09:06 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

I didn't realize how big of a mistake it would be, coming in here hungry... Now I'm just itching to try this thing!

Thanks for sharing bud

posted on Oct, 17 2017 @ 11:59 AM
Thank you! That was one mouth-watering post!

I love tagine, and I've had the pleasure of ordering it anytime I go into a North African restaurant -- if I can resist the couscous dishes, which were my mainstay during many years in Paris.

I have several Le Creuset Pots and Pans, but I dream one day of owning a Le Creuset Tagine. I'll keep your recipe until then.

posted on Oct, 17 2017 @ 02:47 PM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

There is a Korean cooking pot called called ttukbaegi it is some kind of earthenware that you can cook directly on fire. It makes the food tastes 1000X better. You can use the same ingredients same everything but those pots really make it into a different kind of dish. Your description and recipe of a tagine made me immediately think of it even though the cooking style is different. I think a lot of people don't know what they are missing out on when it comes to true ethnic food. They are scared it is going to be weird or something, but in reality many cultures just use more spices and different cooking methods than Americans do. A lot more spices, and man does it taste so much better! I live in a pretty rural place, the people here eat very plain food, and don't stray far from meat and potatoes. Every single person that I've introduced to Asian cooking has gone crazy over it. They are super scared at first, then they can't wait to start learning how to cook it. It is truly like they don't know what they don't know!
edit on 17-10-2017 by JAGStorm because: misworded

posted on Oct, 22 2017 @ 09:54 AM
Well, here's an update on how Tagine Week went...

(3) 'outta the park' home runs.
(1) infield double
(1) swing and a miss

1. Chicken with Raisins Tajine - Hit this one so far out of the park they never even found the ball! Absolutely fantastic!!

2. Lamb Tagine - Wife loved it, but I had problems with it (and I LOVE lamb too). A lot of work for only a moderate return. Plus the recipe had a couple serious errors in it (frustrating) which I had to correct on the fly. 'Okay', but if I did it again I'd do it my way, instead of the recipe way.

3. Lemon Corriander Zuchini Chicken Tagine - I could tell this one was going to be a home run even before it was halfway prepared. Absolutely wonderful dish. Spectacular even!!

4. Moroccan Egg Tagine - I thought it was great, but the wife said it was too spicy. (Ummm...I might have gotten a little carried away with the fresh hot chilis). I'm putting this on in the 'swing and miss' category. I'll most likely do this one again, but tone down the 'hot' factor a little next time. I blame this one on me, not the recipe.

5. Beef Tagine with squash (and cauliflower) - I was aiming for the fence with this one and we weren't disappointed. Home run all the way! The cauliflower was optional and I elected to leave it out, which I believe was the right choice. We both love cauliflower, but I think it would have detracted from the delightful texture and flavor of this dish. I was particularly impressed with the stunning success of this one which called for a just marginal cut of beef (shoulder steak).

Overall, Tagine Week was a smashing success! A wide range of flavors and varied tastes. Will definitely be looking forward to doing this again in the future.

The Tagine is a fantasic way of cooking, and very unique.

ETA...wife's favorite was #3, and mine was (hard choice)...probably #1 (with two-way tie between #3 and #5 being a VERY close 2nd).

edit on 10/22/2017 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 22 2017 @ 10:07 AM
Food thread, no pics of food

This is like brail pornography.

posted on Oct, 22 2017 @ 10:10 AM
a reply to: Lysergic

Sorry, I didn't think to take pictures. However, they came out pretty darn close to the recipe pictures. Let me see if I can find some of those. ...

Stand by...

posted on Oct, 22 2017 @ 10:57 AM
a reply to: Lysergic

#1 - Chicken Raisin Tagine

#2 - Lamb Tagine

#3 - Lemon Coriander Zuchini Chicken Tagine

#4 - Moroccan Egg Tagine

#5 - Beef Tagine

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