Top 5 Moroccan Tagines: Part I

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Best Moroccan Tagines

Moroccan cuisine has a rich repertoire of colors and flavors. The rich history and placement of Morocco as a bridge between Africa and Europe add so much sophistication and diversity to every dish. On one table, one will find a wide array of textures, flavors, heritage,and aromas.

When one thinks of Moroccan cuisine, Tagine is one of the first things that pop up. The word tagine refers to the conical clay pot, wherein many staple dishes are cooked, and also to the cooking technique, since a lot of people nowadays prepare tagine recipes in pressure cookers, heavy pots or slow cookers. The traditional tagine is designed to trap steam in the cone-like shape lid, which returns the condensed moisture back to the dish.

These unique cooking vessels are an internationally renowned tool, famous for preparing meat, poultry, fish, or vegetable meals.  In Morocco, families prepare tagines at least once a week, as most staple tagines feature few ingredients that are affordable and filling to the whole family. However, for special occasions and festivities. Moroccans prepare very elaborate tagines that often feature savory and sweet blends of tastes, with nuts, seeds, or caramelized vegetables or dried fruits on top of tender meat, cornish hens, chicken, or pigeons braised in a flavorful savory sauce.

In this article, you will find a selection of the 10 absolute top Moroccan tagines.

Beef Tagine with Prunes

Beef Tagine with Prunes from FlavorsofMorocco.com online school

This classic dish of beef, topped with dried prunes, is undoubtedly one of the ultimate manifestations of Moroccan cuisine delicacy. It is popular as a traditional offering at holiday gatherings, weddings, special dinners, and other festive occasions.

This tagine is so rich and has a splash of aromatic orange blossom water and distinctive spices to transport you to the Moroccan souk. As it is a great representation of a perfect combination of sweet and savory flavors that Moroccan cuisine highly appreciates.

The beef is marinated in warm spices with a delicious thick onion gravy. All cooked together until the beef achieves its tender texture. For the sweet part of this recipe, the dried prunes are caramelized with honey and cinnamon and topped with fried almonds and sesame seeds, for a final touch of opulence.

Chicken Tagine with Caramelized Apricots

Chicken Tagine with Caramelized Apricots from FlavorsofMorocco.com

Chicken tagine with caramelized apricots is the chicken version of dried prunes. This meltingly tender tagine is delicately spiced and deliciously warming. The fragrant and heavily spiced sauce, the jammy apricots, and the crunchy almonds are the reasons why this Moroccan dish is a favorite.

Dried or fresh fruits are often a successful showcase for sweet and savory Moroccan tagines such as this one. Warm spices highlight the tender texture of the meat and complement the sweetness of the dried fruit and infuse the meat with a succulent flavor and aroma.

The apricots are caramelized in this recipe; plumped up in the syrup of honey with sugar and cinnamon sticks to produce a delicious sweet dish, then wrapped around the meat along with scattered toasted almonds on top.

Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon and Olives

Chicken tagine with preserved lemon is another classic dish in Moroccan cuisine. Preserved lemons are a staple Moroccan ingredient themselves that are present in different salads or tagines to add their unique zesty flavor to any dish they grace. It is an easy one-pot meal that tastes incredibly delicious and is easy to make.

The chicken is slowly braised with onions and spices and cooked in a thick stew (either in a tagine or a pressure cooker), with preserved lemons and warm spices until it is tender enough to melt in your mouth. The succulent fragrance that comes out once cooked gives off exotic perfumes that will make you and your guests salivate and take a sensory voyage to the lands of Northern Africa.

Artichokes and Green Peas Tagine

Fragrant with ginger and saffron, the tagine with artichokes and green peas is a classic and every Moroccan’s childhood favorite. Moroccans are big fans of using seasonal fruits and vegetables in their cooking. Artichokes and fresh peas are at the top of Morocco’s agricultural production during spring; therefore, this recipe is perfect for a chilly spring evening meal. 

This tagine perfectly brings together different combinations. The artichokes become creamy when cooked, the peas have a sweet pop flavor, and the tender texture of the melting meat adds a heavier component. All swam in a marinade of unexpected flavors and a little lemon for a citrusy touch to underline it all. The result is an incredibly inviting meal that will enrich any table and please all family members.

The blend of earthy and light spices adds a bold flavor to the meat and makes a rich sauce. Tasty, spicy and slightly sweet, this classic tagine of pea and artichoke will delight you.

Berber Vegetable Tagine

Berber Vegetable Tagine from FlavorsofMorocco.com

This list would not fully represent Moroccans’ love for vegetables without the Berber vegetable tagine. A beautiful vegetarian blend of seasonal vegetables cooked in a flavorful Chermoula sauce, a zesty North African marinade made with fresh herbs, garlic and spices. This tagine is a staple in the Moroccan diet, most families prepare it at home on a weekly basis, it is also abundantly available across Moroccan food restaurants and street stalls. 

This tagine will get you instantly curious with its distinguished presentation. All the vegetables are  carefully arranged in a conical fashion in an artistic yet appetizing manner. Then for an extra kick, some people add purple olives and preserved lemons, both ingredients that add so much depth of flavor with every bite.