A tagine is sort of like a stew. A mixture of vegetables, meats, and sometimes even fruits, it has a thick rich spicy sauce. It is usually served with bread or rice.

Swiss Chard Tagine - Marak Silk

Gnaoua/Gnawa Vegetable Tagine

Casblanca-style Vegetable Tagine - Tagine Baidaoui

Egg Tagine - Tagine b'Beid

Chicken and Lentils - Treda

Chicken and Artichoke Hearts with preserved lemons - Djej m'Kalli b'l'Hamd Markad

Tagine of Lamb with Prunes - Tagine bil Kok

Tagine of Swiss Chard

Marak Silk

12 cups chopped stalks and leaves of Swiss chard - about 4 bunches
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green coriander/cilantro
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. sweet paprika
black pepper - fresh ground is best
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. uncooked rice

Use a casserole or heavy pot with a tightly fitting lid. In this pot, place chard, onion, cilantro, oil, paprika, salt, pepper, and water. Cook, covered, 30 minutes (on medium heat).

Add rice. Continue cooking about 20 minutes, until all liquid is gone and it is a thick mixture slightly filmed with oil.

In Tetuan it is often served topped with boiled lentils.

Gnaoua/Gnawa Vegetable Tagine

The Gnaoua are rather poor people who are members of a number of spiritual brotherhoods. They specialize in particular types of music and dance, going into trance for healing purposes and personal spiritual purification. There are several instruments particularly associated with them, such as qarqab, heavy iron "castanets", and the guembri, a 3-stringed instrument (only vaguely like a guitar or oud/lute) with a skin covered resonating box. Because they are poor, and also for reasons of purity, they often eat vegetarian food.

1 qt. water
1 cup turnip cubes
1 cup carrot cubes
1 cup eggplant cubed
1 cup potato cubes
1 cup zucchini or other summer squash cubes
1 large onion, chopped
1 head garlic, peeled

1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 Tb. chopped fresh red chili peppers
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 Tb. chopped parsley
1/2 c. finely chopped onion

Bring water and salt to boil. Add vegetables through garlic and cook until tender.

Heat oil in frying pan. Add remaining ingredients and cook stirring for about 5 min. Add drained vegetables, saving water, stir to coat with seasonings and brown slightly. Add water that vegetables were cooked in and simmer until onions are tender.

Casablanca-style Vegetable Tagine

Tagine Baidaoui

Although most Moroccans just call it "Caza", Casablanca has a Moroccoan name, Dar Beida, which means, unsurprisingly, "white house".

2 Tb. olive oil
4 onions, sliced
1 16-oz can whole tomatoes
30 sprigs flat parsley, tied together with cotton string
15 sprigs fresh green coriander/cilantro, tied together with cotton string
1 qt. rich vegetable broth or water

8 threads saffron, toasted and crumbled
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tsp. turmeric
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cumin
4 carrots, peeled and cut in short lengths
4 turnips, peeled and quartered
4 celery stalks, cut in 3" pieces
1/2 c. chick peas, soaked overnight and drained

1 lb. pumpkin, peeled and cut in 2" chunks, or other flavorful yellow-orange squash
4 zucchini, quartered lengthwise, or other summer squash
salt to taste
black pepper to taste

1/4 c. raisins, soaked until plump in warm water, then drained
2 Tb. harissa - optional

In large soup pot heat oil on medium-high heat and saute onions about 8 minutes, until lightly golden. Add tomatoes, parsley, cilantro and broth (or water). Bring to boil.

Add saffron, garlic, turmeric, ginger, cumin, carrots, turnips, celery stalks, and chick peas. Cover and simmer 30 minutes.

Add pumpkin and zucchini and salt and pepper. Cover and cook until pumpkin is tender, about 20 minutes.

Discard parsley and cilantro. Add raisins. Serve with rice, couscous, or bread, with harissa on the side.

Egg Tagine

Tagine b'Beid

2 Tb. olive oil
20 green olives, blanched in boiling water for 1 minute, drained, pitted, and coarsley chopped
2 onions, finely diced
1/2 tsp. sugar

3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped, and drained
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaves

8 eggs
1/4 minced fresh green coriander/cilantro
2 tsp. ground cumin
salt to taste
black pepper to taste

fresh cilantro for garnish

In medium skillet on medium-high fire, heat oil and cook onions, olives, and sugar, stirring occasionally, until onions lightly carmelized, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Add tomatoes, garlic, and bay leaf. Sitr to mix, then crush with back of spoon or spatula. Reduce heat to low, simmer until most of liquid evaporates, about 15 to 20 min. Discard bay leaf.

In bowl, beat eggs, minced cilantro, cumin, salt and pepper. Pour into simmering sauce. Stir gently until eggs set.

Put in serving dish, garnish with cilantro, and serve with bread.

Chicken and Lentils


2 Tb. olive oil
2 onions, sliced
1 large tomato, peeled and seeded
one 3-lb chicken cut in serving pieces, or 2-1/2 lb. thighs
2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1-1/2 tsp. salt

6 cups water
30 sprigs fresh green coriander/cilantro, coarsley chopped
1/4 c. fenugreek seeds

3/4 c. brown lentils

6 cups 1" day-old bread cubes (about 1 lb)
fresh cilantro for garnish

In Dutch oven or casserole, heat oil on high heat and saute onions, tomatoes, chicken, pepper, turmeric, and salt until onions are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Add water, cilantro, and fenugreek seeds. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, about 40-45 min. Add lentils and cook until tender, about 20-25 min.

Spread bread over bottom of wide shallow serving platter. Put chicken pieces evenly over bread. Spoon lentils over chicken. Ladle broth over all so it soaks into bread. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Chicken and Artichoke Hearts with Preserved Lemons

Djej m'Kalli bil Hamd Markad

2 Tb. butter
2 Tb. olive oil
2 tsp. sweet Hungarian paprika
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
3 lb. chicken, cut up

1 onion, finely diced
1 cup chicken broth
8 threads saffron, toasted and crumbled
10 sprigs fresh green coriander/cilantro, coarsely chopped
20 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

1 Tb. fresh lemon juice
1 Tb. preserved salted lemon pulp
12 baby artichokes, trimmed of tough outer leaves,

    or 6 medium artichokes, boiled, trimmed of leaves and fuzz and quartered
    or one 14-oz can/bottle artichoke hearts, drained
rind of 2 preserved lemons cut in thin strips

fresh coriander greens for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In Dutch oven melt butter on medium-high heat, add olive oil, paprika, ginger, pepper, and chicken. Cook 1 or 2 min, stirring to coat chicken with spices - don't over cook as burned spices will be bitter.

Add onion, broth, saffron, cilantro, and parsley. Cover tightly and bake until chicken is tender, about 50 to 55 min. Remove and place on top of stove.

On top of stove bring to simmer. Add lemon juice, lemon pulp, and artichoke hearts, stirring gently until artichokes are warm, about 5 minutes, then gently stir in lemon rind.

Place chicken pieces on serving plate. Arrange artichoke hearts around edge, spoon sauce over, and decorate with cilantro leaves. Serve with bread.

Tagine of Lamb with Prunes

Tagine bil Kok

2 Tb olive oil
2 Tb butter
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 lb. leg of lamb, trim off fat, cut in 2" chunks

1 onion, finely diced
1 c. broth or water
8 threads saffron - toast & crush
15 sprigs fresh green coriander/cilantro, coarsely chopped

1 onion, finely sliced

1 c. pitted prunes
2 Tb. honey
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp pepper
salt to taste

1 Tb toasted sesame seeds
orange blossom water (opt.)

In Dutch oven or casserole, heat butter and oil on medium-high heat, add turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and lamb. Saute until meat well-coated with spices and lightly browned.

Add finely diced onion and broth or water, saffron, and cilantro. Bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook about 1 hour.

Add finely sliced onion and cook 1/2 hour more.

Add prunes, honey, cinnamon, and pepper, and season with salt. Cook until thick, 10 to 15 minutes.

Place on serving dish, and sprinkle orange blossom water (opt.) and sesame seeds and serve with bread.

Variation: Lamb with Fresh Apricots

Same ingredients as above recipe, but NO prunes
Instead, add 2 lbs. fresh apricots, pitted and quartered

Cook as above, without prunes. Shortly before serving add apricot pieces and cook until they are warm and slightly softened.

Maghribi Food Index

The Dining Niche at Bayt Anahita