A recipe by Mehdi Boujrada of Villa Jerada
Join Mehdi as he walks us through how to make a traditional Moroccan tagine using what you have on hand. You don’t need to own a tagine, a cast iron skillet or another heavy-bottomed pan with a lid will work just fine! This recipe is suited well for winter root vegetables and is great for cleaning out the fridge. Use whatever you have and enjoy with some nice crusty bread.
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp ras el hanout
2 tbsps + 1 tsp Villa Jerada tagine spice mix*
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup raisins, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
1/2 cup green Moroccan olives
1 cup water
Salt to taste
1 small bunch parsley or cilantro, leaves and stems separated
1 preserved lemon
*You can make your own spice mix by combining 1 tbsp turmeric, 1 tbsp ground ginger, and 1 tsp black pepper.
Halve the onion, and cut one half into 1/4 inch slices. These will be used to line the bottom of the pan. Cut the other half into paper thin slices, reserve this for topping the tagine partway through cooking. Cut the leek into 1/4 inch slices as well. Peel the potatoes and slice them into 1/2 inch rounds. Quarter the carrots lengthwise and cut them into finger-length pieces. Peel the garlic cloves and mince or crush them with the flat of a knife. If the garlic has a green sprout in the center, remove it.
For the garnishes, chop parsley or cilantro leaves. Separate the pulp of the preserved lemon from the peel and save the pulp for another use (such as a marinade for chicken or fish, or your next vinaigrette). Cut the lemon peel into thin strips.
Place the pan over medium-high heat, and coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Place the thickly sliced onions in an even layer on the bottom of the pan, this helps line the pan and protect the vegetables from burning, while the onions caramelize nicely at the bottom. Add the leek, then the herb stems. Layer the potato slices on top and follow with the carrots. Distribute the garlic cloves around the pan.
In a small bowl or cup, combine the ras el hanout with the spice mix. Add a splash of water to form a runny paste, and drizzle it over the vegetables. Add a splash of water to your tomato paste as well. Stir to dilute, and pour it over the vegetables.
Add a few more splashes of water to the pan. Use enough to cover the bottom of your pan, but not so much that the vegetables are submerged. The liquid in the pan should be boiling; reduce the heat to medium-low and keep it at a simmer.
Next, pile on the thinly sliced onions to form a dome shape, then place the soaked and drained raisins on top. Distribute the olives around the pan. Sprinkle with salt - use sparingly because the olives are already quite salty. Cover the pan with a lid and let simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes. If the pan begins to dry out during cooking, add more water as necessary.
When the vegetables have softened, remove the lid and sprinkle on the chopped herbs and the sliced preserved lemon peels. Cover again and let simmer for a few more minutes. When the tagine is ready, finish with a generous drizzle of olive oil and serve with bread to soak up the sauce.
Follow along with Mehdi's Video Tutorial