Moroccan Tagine is a classic North African dish that uses dried fruits, vegetables, preserved foods, and meat, in combination with aromatic spices.
Morocco is distinguished by its European, Arabian, and Berber influences, and hence, its cuisines can be seen made using its techniques and flavors.
Although lamb and beef are eaten, chicken is the most preferred meat for preparing the traditional Moroccan Tagine recipe. This daring gourmet utilizes traditional Moroccan spices and ingredients – chicken, dried apricots, almonds, raisins, squash, honey, a selection of spices, and of course, harissa (fiery Moroccan chili paste).
The best part is that you can prepare it as a vegetarian dish as well. The term ‘tagine’ is the name of the cooking vessel used for making the dish – traditionally, a clay pot is used.
We know that you are eager to know about how this delicious cuisine is prepared. This is the reason why we have come up with the traditional Moroccan Tagine recipe.
This recipe of the traditional Moroccan Tagine will both delight and impress your gastronomic senses.
- Olive oil - 2 tablespoons
- Ground cinnamon - ½ teaspoon
- Coriander powder - 2 teaspoons
- Cumin powder - 2 teaspoons
- Turmeric powder - 2 teaspoons
- Water - 3 cups
- Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) - 1 can (drained)
- Slivered almonds - 1 cup
- Raisins - ½ cup
- Dried apricots (chopped) - ½ cup
- Honey - 1 ½ tablespoons
- Harissa - 1 tablespoon
- Preserved lemon - ½
- Butternut squash - 4 cups (peeled, seeded, and cut into small cubes)
- Couscous - 2 cups
- Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Salt to taste
- Heat olive oil in your Moroccan tagine pot. Add diced onions to the pot and saute for about five minutes till it turns translucent.
- Next, add grated ginger and minced garlic to the pot and saute for another two minutes. Once the mixture starts giving aromatic flavor, add diced chicken breast and stir the mixture for about one minute to let the extra water from chicken evaporate.
- Next, it is time to add your spice mix to the pot. Sprinkle coriander, cinnamon, cumin, and turmeric powder and stir to combine. Saute the mixture until the chicken cubes are no longer pink.
- Once all the ingredients are perfectly combined into the chicken, it is time to add almonds, raisins, honey, harissa, chickpeas, bouillon cubes, and 1 cup water to the pot. Stir well to combine all the ingredients. Reduce the heat and stir for a minute before covering the pot to simmer it for 10 minutes.
- When it forms a partially thick gravy or stew, it is time to add the butternut squash to the mixture. Stir the mixture properly to combine the ingredients, and return to simmer.
- Cover the pot with a lid and let it simmer for another 25 minutes, or until the butternut squash turns fork-tender.
- Remove it from heat and garnish with dried apricots and slivered almonds. You can also use freshly chopped coriander leaves for garnish.
- The dish is best served with couscous. To prepare couscous, take a saucepan, add two cups of water and bring to a boil.
- Once the water is boiled, add bouillon cubes and butter and stir until the ingredients are dissolved. Make sure that the water is still boiling.
- Next, to the mixture, add the couscous and stir properly. Turn off the heat and cover the saucepan with a lid. Let it sit there for 10-15 minutes. Your couscous is ready. Fluff it with a fork and serve with your chicken tagine.
- For vegetarians, instead of chicken, you can use an extra can of garbanzo beans and 3 extra cups squash
- If you do not have butternut squash, you can use alternatives like pumpkin or sweet potato
- If you cannot find preserved lemon, you can use 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (it is not the same thing, but you will get by)
- You can use agave syrup as an alternative to honey
- Harissa is what gives the Tagine its specific taste. However, if you prefer less spicy, you can substitute it with other red chili paste.
That’s it! This is how you can prepare the traditional Moroccan Tagine recipe. The best part about this recipe is that it is adaptive. Meaning, you can prepare it with other ingredients as well, like with lamb or beef.
You can experiment with different spice mixtures and dried fruits. And you can also prepare it completely vegetarian. Try out this recipe today! It is tasty, delicious, and incredibly healthy.