The Magic of the Tajine
A tagine/tajine is a vessel originally made from red clay, conical in shape and often decorated by hand. The tajine retains moisture and flavors, cooking the food gently in a small amount of liquid. The beautiful earthenware serves as a cooking and serving dish. Originally a Berber dish, the tajine has evolved with history as Arab and Ottoman invaders, Moorish refugees and French colonialists left their influence on the cuisine. An authentic tajine is in a class of its own and has become a fundamental feature in Moroccan cuisine. Preparation is half of the fun, dicing, slicing, mincing all those beautiful summer vegetables. Drop into sizzling oil a generous amount of mid-eastern spices and soon an amazing aroma dances about the kitchen.
A diffused slow simmer is what tajine cooking is all about. The dish of tender meat or succulent vegetables meld into an aromatic and syrupy concoction that is pure bliss.