Chicken Tagine (click to view our recipe) is a staple of Moroccan food along with many other recipes including fish tagine, lamb tagine with prunes and almonds, and kefta tagine, another favorite at Kous Kous. 

tagine-tajine-san-diego

Have you ever wondered where the word tagine came from? Most people associate the word tagine with a meal, but it’s actually has it’s own meaning.

What is a tagine?

Usually we refer to tagine as an item on a menu. Tagine actually is the cookware itself. It’s a two-piece clay pot used to make a dish like Chicken Tagine. The reason for using a tagine is to make a dish tender and bring out its natural flavors.

The unique shape of the tagine, with fluted cone tops, allows for it to trap steam as the dish cooks.  This allows the dish to evenly be cooked inside.  Originally, Tagines were used in North America for making food over the fire. 

Who invented the Tagine?

The tagine dates back to Harun al Rashid who was a ruler of the Islamic empire. Some sources date it back to the Roman Empire because of the portable ovens used by Romans that are similar to tagines.

Moroccan influences over the years are what really makes the tagine unique. Recipes have evolved and many spices have been introduced to Moroccan culture, while using the tagine to cook well known recipes. 

While Chef Moumen will be the first to tell you that you do not need a tagine to prepare Moroccan food,  it is still a viabble method to prepare some of our favorite dishes although you can also use Dutch oven or even a slow cooker.  If you're wondering how to use a tagine check out this video:

 

Ready to learn how to cook Moroccan cuisine? Check out our cooking demonstrations with our award-winning Chef Moumen Nouri. Click below to learn more about our upcoming cooking demo: Moroccan Spring.