My first encounter with tajine occurred in Morocco a few years ago. In a restaurant, waiters were carrying clay containers with elongated and tipped covers to various tables. When the covers were lifted, the aromas wafting were heavenly and enticing.
I quickly ordered one, and after a while the waiter served it. I now order tajine whenever and wherever possible. Tajine is a North African specialty that is comforting, friendly, inexpensive, forgiving, delicious, and fragrant. It requires a glazed clay pot with a tight fitting lid. It is easily obtainable in morocco, Algeria, Tunis, and even Egypt. In North America specialty stores may stock it, but charge extraordinarily high prices. You can substitute the authentic tajine pot with an enamelled cast iron pot, or even use a dark roasting pan. The word is derived from Greek tegonon (frying pan).
Greek traders of antiquity introduced this cooking technique in the region when they roamed the Mediterranean Sea, east to west and back. Tajines are easy to prepare but require long cooking tie. If your timing is off and you forget it in the oven, do not worry! Tajine is very forgiving.
Here is a recipe you ay want to try.
1 kg lamb shanks
4 tbsp olive oil.
2 onions sliced
1 cup beef stock
1 28 oz can peeled plum tomatoes
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 14 oz can chickpeas
125 grams sun-dried mango’s trips (may be omitted or substituted with other dried fruits i.e apricots, apples etc)
bunch of mint
bunch of coriander
Heat the oven to 160 C
Sear shanks on oil (a) and place in casserole. Cook onions in the same pan and pour over shanks. Add stock to pan, and dissolve clinging meat pieces. Add tomatoes, spices to casserole and bake covered for 1-½ hours. Mix drained chickpeas with mango slices. If desired add, ½ bunch mint and ½ bunch of coriander and continue cooking for another 10 minutes.
Serve with couscous, crusty bread, plain rice or whipped potatoes.
Bon appetite !
|Writer – Hrayr Berberoglu – E-mail – Read his books?Professor B offers seminars to companies and interested parties on any category of wine, chocolates, chocolates and wine, olive oils, vinegars and dressings, at a reasonable cost.|
Although Morocco is far from Scandinavia I have found a couple of restaurants that serves it:
Feel free to add to the list if you know of more places!