Monday, January 24, 2011

Tagine Making: A Culinary World Adventure

My version of a traditional Tagine.

The other day a friend of mine came into the shop to guide me through the throwing of some "Tandoori" pots he wanted for gifts.  I thought I had a pretty good idea of what a "Tandoori" was because a few years back a restaurant in town had me make some dozen or so for them.  Later that day, when I did some research to verify that what I had made was actually a traditional shape for a Tandoori, I came to learn that I had made not a Tandoori but a "Tagine."  Tandooris are in fact huge cylindrical clay ovens used to roast skewered meat over an open flame and are used all over India.  Tagines, on the other hand, are Moroccan decent and are used for cooking stews which traditionally are comprised of lamb or chicken with a medley of ingredients or seasonings:  olives, apples, pears, apricots, raisins, prunes, dates, nuts, with fresh lemons with or without honey.  Traditional spices used to flavor include ground cinnamon, saffron, ginger, turmeric, cumin, paprika and pepper.  YUM!!!!!!!!!  I cannot wait to fire a few of these for myself and start exploring the wonderful exotic world of Moroccan Cuisine.  I'm going to start with a few of the more famous tajine dishes: Mshermel (a pairing of chicken, olives, and Citrus fruits) and Mrouzia (lamb, raisins, and almonds).  I'll let you know how they turn out.

Traditional Tagines at Market

Giant Tandoori pots being made

I'll leave you with an excellent BBC video that looks at Tagine cooking in Morocco.  If this doesn't make your mouth water, nothing will.  I'm already making plans for our next dinner party.

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