Morocco’s version of the quintessential bowl of soup – varied in flavour, infinite in possibilities – is the tagine. Cooked in a clay pot of the same name, the classic dish can be built using chicken or beef, lamb or just vegetables and even has an egg version called a Berber omelette. While some complain that they are tagined-out, I am as enamoured with tagine as I was with soup in Burma and I’ve had a wonderful time sampling the different possibilities.
Tagine is named after the pot it is cooked in, a thick clay cone resting on a rounded base. While many tagines are ornamental – see the delicate ceramic ones below, hand-painted carefully – the basic cooking version is unpainted and only occasionally glazed. Practical and durable (except if you drop it, of course), the dish has is synonymous with Morocco for good reason: every roadside stall, tourist restaurant and cafe seems to have pots of the stuff simmering all day long.
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