This class was included with our G Adventures trip and was optional to the group. My sister and I love to cook new things so it was a no brainer for us. The other two participants happened to be the other sister pair of the group.
We made the tajine in the hotel restaurant kitchen where the chef and our G Adventures Tour Guide, “Chief Experience Officer” translated and helped. We enjoyed the delicious dinner alongside our fellow travelers and have a new go-to recipe to use at home. What’s more fun is that you can buy the tajine pot at almost any market and take it home as a beautiful and practical souvenir from your trip to Morocco.
To give some background about tajine, it is a Maghrebi (also known as Northwest Africa) dish which is named after the earthenware pot in which it is cooked. The cooking-pot and its traditional broth are primarily prepared in the Middle East and North Africa. In North Africa, it is called a tajine, while in the Middle East it is called a maraq (broth) or a qidra (cooking pot). There are different ways to prepare the tajine. In the original qidra style, saman (clarified butter) is used to lubricate the surface and a puree of chopped onion is added for flavour and aroma. For muqawlli-style cooking, the ingredients are placed in olive oil to enrich the flavours.
Moroccan tajine dishes are slow-cooked savory stews, typically made with sliced meat, poultry or fish together with vegetables or fruit. Spices, nuts, and dried fruits are also used. Common spices include ginger, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and saffron. Paprika and chili are used in vegetable tajines. The sweet and sour combination is common in tajine dishes like lamb with dates and spices.
Tajines are generally served with bread. Because the domed or cone-shaped lid of the tajine pot traps steam and returns the condensed liquid to the pot, a minimal amount of water is needed to cook meats and vegetables. This method of cooking is important in areas where water supplies are limited or where public water is not yet available.
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