Tagine is the Moroccan word that refers to both the unique glazed earthenware vessel with a distinctive conical lid and also the food prepared in it.
Traditionally used by nomads as portable ovens over charcoal braziers for making stews, usually containing meat, the tagine is used for both cooking and serving
What makes a tagine brilliant?
The conical shaped lid helps preserve moisture in the food as the steam condenses on the inside of the lid. The shape of the lid also creates circulation within the dish, infusing the food with spices and flavours. Using a tagine for any dish requiring long simmering simply turns a good dish into a brilliant one.
The low indirect heat produces a rich, aromatic flavour as the food slowly simmers for hours and the resulting meat becomes meltingly tender.
Traditionally tagines are made of glazed terracotta – some are beautifully decorated and used for serving food. Cooking tagines are generally much plainer.
My tagine, from the Danish company, Scanpan, is made of ceramic titanium and is non-stick and therefore requires a minimum of cooking fat. The pan can be used on its own or with a conventional lid. It can be used on the stove top/hob or in the oven. The addition of a beautiful white cone-shaped lid turns the pan into a miracle maker for Indian, North African foods as well as traditional western stews.