During our 10 day journey throughout Morocco, we stayed at a Riad within the medina in Marrakesh called Dar Zaman .
A riad is a traditional Moroccan house with an open interior garden or courtyard, while the medina is the car-free, old part of the city known for its narrow alleyways. Think of a riad as a bed and breakfast oasis.
Peter, the host and his two guides, Hassain and Yassein, gave us the low down on everything from haggling in the souks to bathing in the Hamam to mint tea etiquette. Staying at a Riad gave us priceless insight you just can’t get from the world wide web!
One afternoon, we went shopping in the souks to pick out ingredients before we started cooking things up with the talented French/Berber chef, Karima. She taught us the ins and outs of cooking with a tagine and how to incorporate the fragrance and spice of Morocco.
In Moroccan culture, spices, like saffron and turmeric, are believed to have divine qualities, or Baraka, within them. They are an important part of Moroccan cooking, especially in tagine recipes.
A tagine is a cone-shaped Berber cooking vessel perfect for slow-cooking and marrying meats and vegetables so they’re tender, tasty and oh so magical.
Below is a tasty vegetable tagine recipe adapted from our cooking class at the relaxing and beautiful Dar Zaman.
2 potatoes, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 zucchini, chopped
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of red harissa
1⁄2 teaspoon of ground ginger
1⁄2 teaspoon of paprika
1⁄2 teaspoon of turmeric
1/2 teaspoon of coriander
1⁄2 teaspoon of salt
1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped or minced
1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
1⁄2 small glass of room temperature water
1 tablespoon of chopped mint for garnish
- Gently combine the chopped onion potatoes, carrots, zucchini, tomato, majority of the seasonings and 1 tbsp each of olive oil and sunflower oil in a large bowl.
- Sautee the combined vegetables and oil over medium heat by using a diffuser between your tagine and stove. If you don’t have a diffuser, simply sautee the vegetables over medium heat in a pan for 5 minutes and then return them to the tagine.
- Add a bit of water to the bottom of the tagine and place the potatoes. Carefully arrange the other vegetables on top. Don’t over stuff the tagine, the vegetables need room for the air to circulate.
- Drizzle with remaining oil and seasonings and place the tagine in the oven for 1 hour @ 350 degrees. Avoid opening the tagine as this disrupts the slow-cooking process.
- Garnish with fresh mint and drizzle with olive oil.
- Serve with rice, quinoa or couscous.
Need a tagine?
Check out our Traditional Terracotta tagine straight from Morocco.