Monday 31 March 2014

The Allure of Tagines


 Click these links to access recipes to my Chicken Tagine, Lamb Tagine and more.....

Niloufer's Kitchen: Moroccan Cuisine

A tagine, or tajine, stemming from Arabic and Persian, is a North African stew which shares its name with the specific ceramic pot in which it is cooked. The uniqueness of this dish comes from the conical shape of the lid which keeps the steam trapped, allowing it to circulate within the pot and thus helping the food to cook with its own condensation. This makes it possible to add minimal water to the meat, and the end result is more flavourful. The popular slow cooker is made based on this same principle of steam cooking. Tagines are best described as a buttery, nutty, aromatic stew, not spicy but delicately flavoured!

Tagines are made of clay and some are then glazed from the outside. They can be used on low flames, coal fires, and ovens. But some of them sold in the West are made with different materials merely for tableware. Almost all famous brands now produce Tagines. They are now available in the original Terracotta or in a choice of ceramic, cast iron, thick aluminum and Teflon, stainless steel and glass. My personal choice?  The basic terracotta.

A certain mystique still surrounds the Tagine, its magical charm continues to enchant the foodies of the world. What was once concentrated in certain corners of the world is now flowing freely everywhere. It is being promoted, its mystery being unveiled by many top chefs. It is being adapted in fusion cuisine and the presence of tagines are  being felt very strongly in the culinary world. An elegant way of presenting your food, a healthy way of cooking it, simplicity and glamour all rolled into one.

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