Tajine Berbère

The tajine Berbère combines the flavours of the Atlas. This traditional stew consists of simple vegetables as potatoes, onion, tomatoes, carrot and zucchini. By stewing these together with water, spices and fresh herbs, you create a simple but very tasty dish. We often make this tagine when we are travelling, because a few vegetables from the local souk or farmer is all you need. You can add meat, but it is certainly not necessary.

Ingredients

2 onions
3 potatoes
2 carrots
2 tomatoes
1 zucchini
1 green pepper
dried spices such as ground ginger, saffron and pepper
fresh herbs such as coriander and parsley
pinch of salt
water
ghee (or butter or oil)

Cut the onion into rings and the vegetables into strips. Melt the ghee (butter or oil) in the tagine and sauté the onion. Add a little water to make sure the onion doesn’t stick.

If you are using meat, roast the meat first and then add the spices. This prevents the spices from burning when roasting the meat. You can use a piece of lamb, chicken or cow. Preferably a piece of meat with bone. Use a sharp knife to make four incisions in the meat, down to the bone.

If you don’t use meat, add a few saffron threads and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger once the onion is sautéed. Then arrange the vegetables in the tagine. Start with a layer of carrots, then a layer of potatoes, followed by the zucchini and tomato. For each layer, turn bar by bar clockwise until you have completed the tagine.

Finally put the green pepper on top. You can also add a bundle of parsley and coriander. Drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and add 200 ml of water. Let it steam until the vegetables are cooked. Check whether there is any moisture left in the tagine while cooking, so that it does not boil dry. Serve with a piece of fresh Moroccan bread.

The tastiest tagine is made on charcoal. As Hicham did for us in La Carnisse, a pretty little stay just outside Marrakech.