We took a local cooking class on our recent trip to Marrakech and learnt how to cook an authentic tagine. It was truly local, we bought all of the ingredients from the local markets including some very fresh chicken; I think the only thing that may be a tad tricky to get hold of is the preserved lemon which is a key ingredient for the meat variations, but not used in the fish or vegetarian versions.
- Chicken pieces, beef, lamb or fish for 2 people
If cooking without meat, use additional vegetables such as aubergine and carrot
- Juice of 1 fresh lemon
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
- handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
- ½ preserved lemon (not used in fish or vegetarian versions)
- 1 heaped tsp ground ginger
- 1 heaped tsp ground pepper
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp tumeric
- 1 tsp saffron
- Pinch of salt
- 1 fresh tomato
- 1 cup red olives
- 1 green capsicum
- Fresh chilli (depending on how hot you like)
Peel tomato and remove seeds. Cut the remaining flesh very finely. Separate the flesh from the skin of the preserved lemon. Cut the chilli very finely and set these ingredients aside.
Boil the olives to remove the saltiness.
Roast the capsicum over an open gas flame until the skin turns black. Once all of the skin is black put straight into a plastic bag and let it sit.
After the meat has been cooking for 20 minutes, add a glass of water, tomato, flesh of preserved lemon and chilli (and further vegetables of choice if vegetarian). Cover and cook for a further 20 minutes, stirring once.
Rub the capsicum inside the plastic bag to loosen the skin. Rinse, cut open and remove the seeds. Slice thinly.
Slice the skin of the preserved lemon thinly and set aside with the capsicum.
After the second 20 minute interval, add the sliced capsicum and preserved lemon to the pot and cook for a final 20 minutes.
Serve hot with couscous and a fresh salad of finely chopped tomato, onion, capsicum, coriander and parsley, seasoned with a little cumin, salt and pepper.