Alhamdulillah, I am back after a long hiatus. Interesting things happened during this long absence including travel, cooking experiments, family reunions etc. Now that I am back, let us go straight to the amazing things I have cooked.
My family loves to eat Mediterranean food when possible. It includes a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, it uses healthy fats, a good amount of protein etc. However, it tends to be a little bland, as it is low on spices and pepper. Moroccan food, on the other hand, is along the same lines of Mediterranean food with the perfect blend of spices and bold flavors, for an Indian palette.
I have adapted this recipe from my favorite Moroccan food channel,
Tagine gets the name from the pot it is cooked in, called the "tagine". It is a two-piece glazed clay pot with a flat base of short sides, and a conical lid that fits snugly over the base and allows the moisture to be trapped inside while causing the condensed moisture to trickle back to the food in the base and keeps the food uniquely moist and tender. Traditionally, the tagine is made over hot charcoal leaving an adequate space between the charcoal and the pot to avoid the temperatures to rise fast and prevent the pot from cracking. I have made the chicken tagine over medium heat with a heat diffuser plate right over the flame to avoid burning and for even distribution of heat. It took a little over two hours from start to finish. Serve it with crusty bread for an amazing dinner or late lunch.
Do tell me if you own a tagine pot and also if you have had the opportunity of eating any Moroccan food.
Preserved lemon-1, (skin separated and cut into wedges, pulp chopped and set aside.)
Cilantro-2 tbs, finely chopped
Parsley- tbs, finely chopped
Garlic-1 tbs, crushed
Olive oil-4 tbs
Kashmiri Pepper Powder-2 tsp
Turmeric powder-1 tsp
Ground ginger-1 tsp
Ground Cumin -1 tsp
Black Pepper Powder-1tsp
Saffron Strands-a pinch, soaked in 2 tbs of hot water
Onions-2 medium, grated
1. Make a marinade with preserved lemon pulp, cilantro, ground ginger, ground cumin, parsley, paprika, garlic, olive oil and mix well.
2. Rub the mixture into the pieces of Chicken and refrigerate for an hour.
3. Pour the olive oil into the tagine pot, spread the grated onion, sprinkle salt and turmeric evenly over the onions and place the pieces of chicken over the onion bed making sure they are not crowded.
4. Place the heat diffuser plate onto the stove and the tagine pot over the plate.
5. Cover the tagine pot with the lid and turn the stove to a medium heat and allow the chicken to cook for 15-20 minutes.
6. After 15 minutes, lower the heat to a low and cook for 30 more minutes.
7. After the 30 minutes, remove the lid, add the preserved lemon wedges, olives and increase the heat to a high and cook without the lid until the liquid evaporates and separates itself from the oil.
8. Turn off the stove , serve the Chicken Tagine in the tagine plate itself along with some good bread.