Berber tagine

Berber tagine

Green Kitchen Travels

One of our goals when we visited Marrakech last year was to learn how to cook a tagine properly; we had been doing our own versions for years, which we featured in our last book.This time we got to visit a Moroccan mother’s home and peek into her kitchen while she cooked a tagine. Fouzia’s method was more complicated than we had anticipated, with many of the vegetables prepared separately and then assembled in the tagine towards the end. It tasted perfect, though – exactly the flavours we were aiming for. Our version of her recipe is simpler, allowing all the vegetables to slow-cook simultaneously in the tagine. One of the secrets to success is to use slightly more spices than you’re comfortable with and to add a bit of saffron too.


Quantity Ingredient
90ml cold-pressed olive oil, plus a little for frying
or 90ml ghee, melted, plus a little for frying
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground saffron
or pinch saffron strands
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 onions, finely chopped
2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
4 carrots, sliced lengthwise
4 parsnip, sliced lengthwise
or 4 turnips, sliced lengthwise
2 sweet potatoes, sliced lengthwise
1 courgette, sliced lengthwise
1 handful golden raisins
or 1 handful brown raisins
400ml water
1 onion, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
1 handful parsley leaves, torn

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
green salad
or quinoa
or millet


  1. To cook in a tagine or clay pot, soak the tagine for at least 1 hour, then drain. Mix the oil, spices and thyme in a bowl. Pour half into the bottom of the tagine, add the onions and tomatoes and toss to combine. Arrange the sliced vegetables in a circle, starting with the carrots, then the parsnips, sweet potatoes and courgette. Add the water to the remaining spice mixture, mix and pour over the vegetables. Sprinkle with raisins and cover with the tagine lid. Place in a cold oven and turn the heat to 160°C and cook for 2 hours, checking once, or at most twice, to see if more water is needed. Turn off the heat and leave to stand in the oven for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a little oil or ghee in a frying pan and fry the onion and tomato slices briefly to soften. When ready to serve, arrange on top of the vegetables in the tagine and scatter the parsley over.
  3. To cook in a heavy-based saucepan, heat the oil in the saucepan over a medium heat. Add the spices, thyme and chopped onions and tomatoes and cook until soft but not browned. Add all the vegetables and stir to coat in spices. Add water to barely cover the vegetables. Top with the raisins, bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 30–40 minutes or until completely tender. Fry the onion and tomato slices in a little oil or ghee in a frying pan until softened, place on top of the vegetables and scatter the parsley over. Serve the tagine with a green salad and bread, quinoa or millet.
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