by Karen

Tagines are a traditional Moroccan dish, named after the vessel they are cooked in. It’s pretty much the Moroccan equivalent of a crock pot. They are sold everywhere in markets, but I’ll have to settle for a $10 crock pot when I get back, because tagines are heavy and huge! It looks like a giant cone-shaped vessel, and typically made out of clay. The lid is a dome that seals in the moisture while your food cooks, and when served, the contents are still sizzling. Meat & veggie tagines are commonly served at Moroccan restaurants. However, it takes a while to cook these dishes, so expect to have a long dinner when ordering one of these.
The owner of our B&B in Ourika Valley was kind enough to hook me up with a cooking lesson from one of his chefs on how to make a tagine dinner. He showed me (roughly) how to make a Kefta Tagine, which is like a seasoned meatball dish.

– 1 tsp cumin powder
– 1 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp pepper
– 1/2 tsp ginger powder
– 1 tsp tumeric powder
– 1/2 “teacup” olive oil
– 1 onion, minced
– 2 tomatoes, peeled & diced
– 1 bunch of parsley, chopped
– 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
– 1 sprig of rosemary (optional)
– ground beef, rolled into balls
The chef used a small spoon (looked like a teaspoon) when measuring out the spices, so I don’t have the exact measurements (the ones above are estimates). He also used a heaping spoonful for most spices, so I assume it’s to taste. Also for olive oil he eyeballed it, but he said about “1/2 of a teacup”, so make of that what you will.


Dump the chopped onions & spices & oil into the tagine and heat it on high. You can just put the tagine on an open flame (gas stove) or use an electric stove. Mix it all up, then dump the parsley & cilantro in. Wait a few mins, then dump the tomatoes in.

Stir, and let cook for about 10 mins with the lid on. Keep stirring every so often.
Take your rolled-up ground beef and carefully place it into the stew. Cover and let cook for about 10 mins, then reduce the heat to medium-low and let sit for about 45 mins.

You can add a sprig of rosemary for flavor.

Voila! Kefta tagine!



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