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Not to be confused withEl Tajnortahini.
A vegetable tajine dish as served in a London restaurant
Atajineortagine(Arabic: الطاجين) is aMaghrebidish which is named after theearthenwarepot in which it is cooked. It is also called a Maraq/marqa inNorth Africa.
FromMoroccan Arabicطجينṭajn, fromArabicطاجنṭjinshallow earthen pot,fromAncient Greek:άtagnonfrying-pan, saucepan.
The tagine dates back toHarun al-Rashidwho was a ruler of theEarly Muslim conquests.The earliest writings about the concept of cooking in a tajine appear in the famousAlf layla wa layla(One Thousand and One Nights), an Arabic story collection from the 9th century.It is also mentioned during the times of the Islamic reign of theAbbasid Empire(stretching from the Middle East/Asia to North Africa andAndalusia) during the 9th century.The dish would have been already famous amongst the nomadicBedouinpeople of theArabian Peninsula, who added dried fruits like dates, apricots andplumsto give it its unique taste. Tagine is often eaten with french fries, either on the top or on the side.
Today, the cooking-pot and its traditional broth is primarily prepared in the Middle East and North Africa. In North Africa it is called a Tajine, while in the Middle East it is called amaraq(broth) or aqidra(cooking pot). There are different ways to prepare the tajine. In the original qidra stylesaman(clarified butter) is used to lubricate the surface and a puree of chopped onion is added for flavour and aroma. Formuqawlli-style cooking, the ingredients are placed inolive oilto enrich the flavours.
There are many descriptions of how to prepare a tajine from Arab scholars from the mid-centuries.A famous description is the one fromIbn al-Adim:
Boil the meat and fry with fresh coriander, onions and hot spices and a little garlic. Then pick out the fennel hearts and cut in half. Put over the meat. Put back some of the broth on it along with sheeps tail. Boil until cooked and the broth has been absorbed. Remove [from the heat].
The traditional tajinepottery, sometimes painted orglazed, consists of two parts: a circular base unit that is flat with low sides and a large cone- or dome-shaped cover that sits on the base during cooking. The cover is designed to return allcondensationto the bottom. That process can be improved by adding cold water into the specially designed well at the top of the lid.
Tajine is traditionally cooked over hot charcoal leaving an adequate space between the coals and the tajine pot to avoid having the temperature rise too quickly. Large bricks of charcoal are used, specifically for their ability to stay hot for hours. Other methods are to use a tajine in a slow oven or on a gas or electric stove top, on the lowest heat necessary to keep the stew simmering gently. Adiffuser, a circular utensil placed between the tajine and the flame, is used to evenly distribute the stoves heat. European manufacturers have created tajines with heavycast-ironbottoms that can be heated on a cooking stove to a high temperature, which permits the browning of meat and vegetables before cooking.
Tajine cooking may be replicated by using aslow cookeror similar item, but the result will be slightly different. Many ceramic tajines are decorative items as well as functional cooking vessels. Some tajines, however, are intended only to be used as decorative serving dishes.
Moroccan and Algerian tajine dishes are slow-cooked savory stews, typically made with sliced meat, poultry or fish together with vegetables or fruit.Spices, nuts, and dried fruits are also used. Common spices includegingercuminturmericcinnamon, andsaffronPaprikaand chili are used in vegetable tajines. The sweet and sour combination is common in tajine dishes like lamb with dates and spices. Tajines are generally served with bread. Because the domed or cone-shaped lid of the tajine pot traps steam and returns the condensed liquid to the pot, a minimal amount of water is needed to cook meats and vegetables. This method of cooking is practical in areas where water supplies are limited or where public water is not yet available.
What Tunisians refer to as a tajine is very different from the Moroccan dish.Tunisiantajine is more like an Italianfrittataor aneggah. First, a simpleragoutis prepared, of meat cut into very small pieces, cooked with onions and spices, such as a blend of driedand ground cinnamon known asbaharator a robust combination of groundcorianderandcarawayseeds; this is calledtabil.Then something starchy is added to thicken the juices. Common thickeners includecannellini beanschickpeasbreadcrumbsor cubed potatoes. When the meat is tender, it is combined with the ingredients which have been chosen to be the dominant flavouring. Examples include freshparsley, driedmintsaffronsun-dried tomatoes, cooked vegetables and stewed calves brains. Next, the stew is enriched with cheese and eggs. Finally, this egg and stew is baked in a deep pie dish, either on the stove or in the oven until top and bottom are crisply cooked and the eggs are just set. When the tajine is ready, it is turned out onto a plate and sliced into squares, accompanied by wedges oflemon. Tunisian tajines can also be made with seafood or as a completely vegetarian dish.
In rural parts of Tunisia, home cooks place a shallow earthenware dish over olive-wood coals, fill it, cover it with a flat earthenware pan, and then pile hot coals on top. The resulting tajine is crusty on top and bottom, moist within and is infused with a subtle smoky fragrance.
A similar dish known astavvasis found inCypriot cuisine.
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The Arabic word tajin is derived from the Greek teganon, meaning frying pan.
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الطاجين المغربي يقاوم التشويهBBC Arabic. 31 May 2008
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tajine in a sentence – tajine sentence examples – ichacha.net sentence maker.
Paula Wolfert.Recipe for Tunisian Tajine
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Connelly, Michael Alan (December 18, 2014).20 Must-Try Street Foods Around the World.
Media related toTajineat Wikimedia Commons
Calories in Moroccan Chicken Tagine
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This page was last edited on 9 May 2018, at 21:44.